In Far Sector #3, tempers run high as those on the emotion exploit go up against those on switchoff, resulting in a massive public protest that Lantern Sojourner (Jo) Mullein must bring to a peaceful resolution before things get explosive.
Far Sector #3
Deron Bennett (letterer), Jamal Campbell (artist), Maggie Howell (assistant editor), N. K. Jemisin (writer), Andy Khouri (editor)
DC’s Young Animal
January 22, 2020
The more Jo discovers about the emotion exploit, the more she realizes she needs to be on high alert under all circumstances. Especially when the members of the Trilogy’s council are not using the exploit as is expected of all citizens. Understandable! Removing emotions has never worked well for any species. It always leads to trouble if proper practice and ritual isn’t in place. In the City Enduring, it’s an even more confusing situation since the emotion exploit, while removing emotions, doesn’t actually remove the reactions people have when they experience feelings. Which is why the mass of protesters that Mullein must pacify in Far Sector #3 look the same on both sides.
Far Sector #3 slips backward for a moment, with Jo remembering her time spent with Councillor Marth, who revealed to her that he was using switchoff to negate the emotion exploit, as were his parents, and many others before him. Aside from the fact that Marth is already very attractive and attracted to Jo, the evening they spent together in the last issue went places that have left Jo’s mind in a bit of a haze. Not in the way her assistant @CanHaz thinks though. After their evening of dancing, Marth sat Jo down to a game of chess, or its equivalent in the City Enduring, which loosely translates as “civil war.” It is a blatant reminder of what Jo is up against and what she, as part of the peacekeeping Green Lantern society, was sent here to prevent.
The cover of the last issue depicted some downtime for Jo, where she’s sitting comfortably reading some sort of document. Here we discover that it’s a 10,000-word chapter of a story — a fanfic, if I am spying N.K. Jemisin’s own interests popping in here — which @CanHaz has obtained for her in exchange for some sweet vintage cat memes that her people, the @at, love so much. @CanHaz has also found something else for Jo, reminding her of what she’s left behind on Earth when she agreed to travel to this distant galaxy.
But there’s little time for her to wallow in her sadness because a peacekeeping officer’s work is never done. She is summoned to deal with the protest rally that turns out to be much larger than anything she imagined when she first receives the call.
Jamal Campbell’s artwork continues to astound. Shifting from the allure of Marth’s quarters, to the fun of Jo and @CanHaz’s interactions, Jo teleports into a scene that makes her jaw drop as much as the reader’s as gashes of fiery energy emanate into the sky, above the somber bowed heads of giant silver statues in repose, and the mass of people forming beneath it all.
Quickly assessing the situation, Jo learns that there are already over one hundred thousand people present, with more arriving by the minute at this unsanctioned protest, which means that the presiding police have the authority to stop the protest by deadly force. Jo must work fast to somehow bring a resolution before that happens. Calling on the teachings of her father and, subsequently, Martin Luther King Jr., Lantern Mullein leaps into action, speaking about the two ways to bring peace. The first is by ending the conflict swiftly and decisively. It fulfills the immediate purpose, but there is no real resolution. The second option is to find resolution by actually listening to both sides, negotiating, and seeking compromise rather than silencing any one party. Jo opts for the latter.
Once again showing off his artistic ability with the Green Lantern powers, Campbell shapes a force field between the two groups and depicts Jo moving through them with ease. Some speak of law and order, which triggers flashbacks to Earth. Again, Campbell impresses with spreads that summarize the pain and and anger and violence and silenced voices from protests we have seen too many times here on Earth. It bolsters Jo’s resolve, but is it enough?
With nine more issues to go in this series, there is still so much left to understand, but, though Jo is inexperienced, she is wise in her years and serves as a strong and confident guide for the reader as she unravels the mystery of the planet’s politics and strives to keep the peace.