To say DC’s Young Animal‘s Far Sector is capturing the zeitgeist of the time isn’t quite right. The series is at this point prescient. It deals with drug laws, police brutality, bureaucratic incompetence, social action, social justice, and more. The first issue was released in November 2019, months before COVID-19 was a thing and a half year before the current calls for justice and change across the United States. It’s a comic that was clearly written to talk about all of these issues which have been brewing for decades without knowing what was to come in reality. Far Sector #6 just so happens to release this week dealing with the fallout of police shooting at a peaceful protest killing individuals. It’s something that’s, unfortunately, playing out on our television screens and social media in real life as well.
Written by N.K. Jemisin, the series follows a Green Lantern named Jo, a former police officer and soldier on Earth, who is whisked away to an alien world. There, a murder has been committed that she must investigate. There’s also a political uprising brewing. The citizen’s emotions have been suppressed to create peace but a drug is allowing that to be overridden. Those that want to “feel” have recently protested for the right to take the drug. Those in control opened fired on the protesters killing some and injuring more. It’s eerily timed with recent events. Far Sector #6 deals with the fallout of that decision, one that so many of us wish would play out in real life. Don’t let that cover fool you. While the issue deals a lot with emotion, the series is a politically relevant whodunnit.
With leadership making decisions on logic, actual accountability is taken for their actions. The councilor who called for the shooting has taken responsibility and announced his resignation. That will take place after a referendum vote to legalize the drug “Switchoff.” This comes after an apology and investigation recognizing mistakes. Despite the closeness to reality, the issue didn’t quite hit the way I thought it might. Instead, we get a quieter issue of two characters discussing decisions and their roles and what has happened due to those decisions. The fact that the results feel adult in a way, with politicians taking responsibility, is cathartic and pollyannaish in so many ways.
But, what’s interesting is the debate within the issue of making decisions based on logic versus emotions. The issue never quite gives an answer as to which is right and which is wrong but it makes the reader ponder, especially with what’s going on today. In the comic, logic dictated actions which resulted in the death of peaceful protesters. In the real world, emotion drives the President which has also resulted in hurting peaceful protesters. There’s a lot to chew on just with that and so much more in the comic series left to go.
The art by Jamal Campbell continues to be stunning. With color by Campbell and lettering by Deron Bennett, the series is a beautiful dystopian fascist nightmare. The art is some of the best on the shelves today with colors that pop. The designs are amazing, the panel layout interesting, framing of scenes engaging. Campbell nails it in every way. Bennett’s lettering too is important. The series has alien languages, different fonts for some characters, and some fantastic use of lettering to create a sense of action. The aesthetics of the comic is on another level and has been throughout the series.
Far Sector might be one of the most important series on the shelf today. While it clearly went into things looking to discuss real-world issues, those issues have flared up and the comic has echoed moments we’re seeing played out in real time. While the lack of escapism might seem like a negative, it in fact feels like a positive. The comic is helping me process reality and work through what we’re seeing and experiencing. This series was already one of the best being released, it might now be one of the most important.
Story: N.K. Jemisin Art: Jamal Campbell
Color: Jamal Campbell Letterer: Deron Bennett
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
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