Comics Are Trying to Break Your Heart #46 by Drew Barth
In the pantheon of DC heroes, Green Lantern has maintained as one of the most iconic characters for the past eighty years. From the white gloves to the lantern battery to the green rings around their fingers, Green Lanterns are one of the most distinct characters in a typical Justice League line-up. And this area of iconography is where Young Anima, DC’s Gerard Way-run imprint, has flourished over the past few years. Green Lantern in particular is one of the newest characters to get the Young Animal treatment with the recent release of Far Sector by N.J. Jemisin and Jamal Campbell, and this new take is one of the most interesting the character has gone through.
When thinking of Green Lantern, most readers think of one of the original Earth lanterns: Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, John Stewart, or Kyle Rayner. And from there, readers know the iconography mentioned above coupled with the idea of the intergalactic space cop Green Lanterns represent. But this is where Jemisin and Campbell disrupt the canon. We are introduced to a new Lantern, Sojourner “Jo” Mullein, on assignment in the off-world metropolis, the City Enduring. The City Enduring is as ideal a city as can be conceived: no murders in the last 500 years, a beautiful cityscape, and the hub of a three-civilization empire. The only caveat is that no one in the city can feel any emotions. And this makes the first murder in 500 years the most shocking thing to ever happen in the city.
As a first issue, Far Sector excels. The murder is introduced as a police procedural, and the mystery and world-building presented here should be used as a masterclass in story craft if only for establishing our three main alien species in the City Enduring within a couple pages. Couple that with the consistency of Campbell’s art that helps to maintain our immersion within the city and this new branch of the universe, and we have a first issue that brings readers right from the familiarity of past Green Lanterns into the present with Jo and her new ring that is still veiled in mystery.
Creating new characters and stories from the established DC canon is what has been making Young Animal such a refreshing imprint. At times, it feels like the pre-Vertigo work being done in The Sandman, Doom Patrol, and Shade, the Changing Manas. Every creator here seems revved up, and Far Sector is absolutely continuing the trend of these refreshing books coming from Young Animal.
Get excited. Explore new stars.
Drew Barth (Episode 331) is a writer residing in Winter Park, FL. He received his MFA from the University of Central Florida. Right now, he’s worrying about his cat.