Let’s get our Cyberpunk on, y’all! Join me as we go to the City Enduring, located in the far reaches of the known universe and inhabited by three different species of sentient beings. The beings of this city outlawed emotions for hundreds of years, seeing it as the source of conflict and disaster. For a long time, things seemed to be in control. But then the first murder in five hundred years occurred. It is time for the newest recruit of the Green Lantern Corps - powered by a special kind of power ring - to investigate the crime. Her name is Sojourner “Jo” Mullein and her investigation will reveal Enduring’s real history and how things are really run once you look past the surface. This…is the story of Far Sector.
I’ve grown to love the Green Lantern mythos and all the human lanterns. And Jo, who makes her grand debut in this 12-issue mini-series, is no exception. The strength of her characterization is connected to how the story of this series is told. In both cases, there is heavy inspiration from both Cyberpunk and Crime Noir stories. Jo’s past as a former US soldier and a police officer kicked off the force for reporting abuse of power feeds into the themes of both stories - dealing with corruption and holding onto what makes you human in an inhumane world. That last point takes on a more literal meaning as Jo learns to navigate an extraterrestrial world that she quickly learns is similar to her own in all the wrong ways. But it is through her dealings with friends and enemies and her determination to push through that makes us connect and root for her. It also helps that we can tell she enjoys some of the nerdier things in life like anime.
Now, let’s talk about her power ring. I already mentioned that hers is quite different. For starters - it doesn’t need a lantern to recharge. It recharges itself, but that means it isn’t quite as powerful as normal rings. The reason for that is that it is a physical representation of the kind of everyday fear the average black person in the US lives with but still finds the inner strength to move forward and even dare to challenge the way of life being forced on them. This in some ways plays on similar ideas of fear and willpower that we’ve seen demonstrated in other recent recruits such as Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz. Jo is just the natural next step in this exploration and has the potential to maybe surpass all other human lanterns. Only time will tell, but I have no doubt she will hold onto her fanbase throughout her journey.
Another strength of this story is the artwork. Every panel is a display of impressive beauty. Some shots even somehow manage to give off a kind of gloss or shine. If there is any kind of downside to the artwork, it’s that it might be too good in certain spots. Considering this is a story inspired by noir and cyberpunk, it might have been good to have certain panels show off some grit. While we do have some shots that capture the essence of those genres, especially when paired with strong dialogue or narration, it would have been interesting to see something that reflects the visual harshness of these kinds of stories. But that is admittedly a very minor nitpick criticism.
This is without a doubt one of the best Green Lantern stories to have been published in decades. A story supported by smart writing and engaging characters, this is one story that every comic fan should seek out.