As DC Comics more mature reader-oriented publishing imprint Young Animal returns with a new wave of titles, the Gerard Way-curated line branches its quirky, creator-driven sensibilities into the far reaches with space and Green Lantern mythos with its new series, Far Sector. Created by N.K. Jemisin and Jamal Campbell, the new series leans a bit heavier into the noir and crime procedural possibilities associated with the Green Lantern Corps, with an atmospheric sci-fi setting that runs heavy on pulpy exposition as it spins its own cosmic take on the familiar murder mystery trope.
The new series follows recent Green Lantern recruit Sojourner "Jo" Mullein, as she has spent her first six months on the job as an intergalactic peacekeeper protecting the faraway City Enduring. The bustling, sci-fi setting is shocked to its very core by a violent murder, its first in centuries after swearing off emotions in an attempt to rein in crime. As Jo continues her investigation in this unfeeling, cosmic world, she realizes that the murder itself could threaten the stability of the entire metropolis and its billions of denizens, as age-old tensions quickly begin to rise to the surface.
Coming from a prolific background as a sci-fi and fantasy novelist, Jemisin uses the opening issue of Far Sector as a full showcase in immersive world-building. The series' primary setting of City Enduring feels established and lived in despite it being introduced here for the first time. Similarly, while Jo is relatively new to the job, she already feels like a familiar character from jump, as Jemisin gives the Green Lantern Corps its first world-weary, hardboiled detective who eschews using her Power Ring to fly as she moves among the people she has sworn to protect as part of her interstellar beat.
What perhaps throws off the pacing and distracts from the comic itself is the sheer amount of exposition, usually through internal monologue, throughout the entire issue. Pulp and noir works are known for running heavy on its protagonists' observations about the gritty proceedings around them but Jo's observations -- whether in service of providing her background, describing the sci-fi world she's investigating, or the stakes of the crime -- are especially verbose and only seems to increase as the issue progresses.
Matching Jemisin's world-building is artist Jamal Campbell, providing colors as well as pencils and ink. As Campbell's first major project since the Wonder Comics title Naomi, he is leaning towards an interesting juxtaposition of a fantastical sci-fi setting but grounded in shadow and mystery, utilizing a darker, grittier color palette than he had when crafting the world of the DC Universe's latest teenage superhero. As such, the opening issue has a notably atmospheric approach, from dimly lit councils ruminating on the impact of a murder befalling their society to skylines and cityscapes that appear caught in perpetual dusk and night as Jo moves deeper into her investigation.
N.K. Jemisin and Jamal Campbell's subtle reimagining of the Green Lantern mythos in Far Sector gives the Young Animal imprint its most cosmic title yet. The creative team brings effectively moody neo-noir sensibilities to the new comic, both narratively and visually. While running distractingly heavy on exposition, the series presents a world and protagonist that feels new yet familiar all at once, exploring the well-worn trope of a murder mystery, with sinister implications on a sci-fi scale. Far Sector is atmospheric, unsettling and hardboiled as both creators bring their personal storytelling strengths to the far reaches of space.