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Review – Firefly #1 (BOOM! Studios)


Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Greg Pak
Artwork: Dan McDaid
Colours: Marcelo Costa
Letters: Jim Campbell
Release Date: 14th November 2018


There are certainly more subtle ways to open an issue than a ship’s engine on fire and the crew fast approaching death, but it wouldn’t be Firefly if this brand new BOOM! Studios series opened any other way.

The Serenity crew continue to live on past their universally loathed series cancellation in comic form, similarly to Whedon’s Buffy and Angel characters, and thankfully this first issue manages to contain all the wit and endearing qualities that helped us fall in love with both the show and film.

Firefly managed to blend western and sci-fi in a way that few, aside from maybe Cowboy Bebop, have managed so well. For those new to the franchise it’s set in the far future where, after using up the planet’s resources, the inhabitants of Earth took to the stars to repopulate the many planets and moons. It wasn’t long before the powers that be tried to force control of the colonies, resulting in a huge war which encompassed the whole galaxy.

But some of the soldiers didn’t agree with what they were being forced to do and deserted, finding themselves constantly pursued by the powers that be, scraping by on what random jobs and scraps they can.  Soldiers like Captain Malcolm Reynolds of the Serenity and his rag-tag crew of nut cases, priests, medical experiments and femme fatales.

Following the explosive start to this issue we find our crew stranded on a moon looking for work to try to replace the damaged parts of the ship. After a quick altercation they find themselves playing bodyguard to a religious pilgrimage, unaware that Malcolm’s past is rapidly catching up with him.

This is a great example of a TV adaptation done right. Sometimes with these kind of things there’s the risk that it simply won’t work, or that something will get lost in transition from screen to page, but thankfully both Pak and McDaid have managed to captured the feel of the show perfectly. McDaid’s art excels here as it shifts from one extreme to the other, from explosive fiery action to the desolate reaches of an alien moon.  The texture of the outlines also help to give the scenes a grainy feel to them which matches the imperfect nature of the ship and the ravaged, run-down version of the future.

McDaid’s artwork and Pak’s script also deserves a lot of credit for absolutely nailing the portrayal of these beloved characters.  They’ve always been the real strength of the show, and from page one so you can immediately hear the voices of the actors in your head as you flick through the pages – an essential quality for any Firefly comic.

The story hits some familiar sci-fi western notes, but that’s not the real point here. No, this is all about the characters themselves and the family they’ve formed. These aren’t your average heroes and they each have their own set of problems, fears and insecurities that we see them struggle with. Not only that but they’re also fully aware of everyone else’s shortcomings and support each other through them, showing that while they may seem completely different on the outside, they need each other in the same way.

The setting of the pilgrimage also helps to reflect their own need for validation and redemption against past crimes, framing a great first issue that the creators knock out of the park from the first few pages.

Firefly lives on! Get this first issue now!

Rating: 4/5.


[PREVIEW ARTWORK]






The writer of this piece was: Indiana “Indy” Marlow
Indy Tweets from @smokingpunkindy


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