FAR SECTOR #4
Writer: N.K. Jemisin
Artist: Jamal Campbell
Letterer: Deron Bennett
Far Sector is easily one of the best superhero series that's currently being published and continues to maintain the same level of quality with this latest issue. Although at times the dialogue/writing is a bit wordy, it benefits the series because it works amazingly well at fleshing out Jo as a character and a Lantern in a very short amount of time.
This issue kicks off with a page of Jo explaining/summarizing the first 3 issues to remind current of the events and to catch any new readers up. A new reader would more than likely catch up before stepping into the 4th issue so this introductory page may not have been necessary but doesn't hurt. Then we pick up where the last issue left off as Jo is protecting the protestors against the Peace Division that is intent on mowing them down. The back and forth between Jo and Tillij coupled with the amazing artwork by Campbell was fantastic. The scene manages to move the plot along while also giving Jo (and the reader) an opportunity to see her stand her ground and make her point while not resorting to actual violence. While being a fairly powerful player in this scene, she’d rather make her point of peaceful protest and peaceful resolution being possible through her actions. This is exactly the kind of scene that defines a hero, having the strength to resolve a confrontation with physical force but not resorting to it and instead holding to an ideology of peace and protection.
Next there is exposition revealing that although Jo is a formidable Lantern, she is unlike the other Lanterns by having a smaller finite pool of power and not having access to a way of recharging the ring other than it replenishing itself slowly from some unseen source (which is ostensibly another Lantern Jo is directly taking power from). What this means for the series is that Jo can't rely on her Lantern abilities to save the day and instead has to find more diplomatic solutions. Lastly, we get a scene with Jo and the council where it is revealed that this kind of unrest because of an emotional exploit has happened multiple times throughout their society's history. As Jo leaves the council, we see a flashback to some other character handing the Green Lantern ring to Jo with the explicit direction that she has 1 year to make a difference with her powers.
It was a solid reveal that creates a time bomb of sorts which will only add more tension to an already tense situation and works to flesh out Jo as a Lantern that is generally more vulnerable than her counterparts. This also alludes to an interesting backstory that will more than likely be revealed within the remaining issues. The pace at which these wrinkles have been introduced is spot on and really speaks to Jemisin's talent/skill as a writer.
The art is absolutely phenomenal and perfectly matches the quality and tone of the writing. In particular, Campbell's approach to showing the Lantern constructs is gorgeous and stylish in a way that is not typically seen and the juxtaposition of the moody noir type backgrounds with the vibrant green hue of her constructs make them stand out even more. It's not style over substance either, many of the scenes are confrontational with two parties sharing their perspectives in a touchy situation and the art within these scenes manages to convey the expressions and emotion wonderfully that again, only adds to the stellar writing. This series is a showcase of Campbell's amazing skill.
A great fourth issue that continues to move the plot forward, introduce more wrinkles/complexities to the characters and story and give the readers the gift that is Campbell's art. Highly recommended for anyone that is reading this review but is not reading the series.