I gotta say, I wasn’t sure how I was feeling about another Firefly comic. Just like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this was another licensed book taken from Dark Horse. When that happens, there’s always an uncertainty about how you will accept the new direction taken since your expectation is that you will go right back to the early days. And when you have that in mind, you have to ask how far back are we going to go? The answer to that question and how the new creative team can pull you in with new stories makes a big difference in your investment.
The point they had chosen wasn’t a bad choice if you ask me. This was a point in their time line where everyone was still alive, the core group was all still together on the ship, and it was a point where River was more aware of her powers as a psychic. Not a bad place to start with a combination of those three things creating a lot of potential storytelling for the main plot and what could branch off. It also goes without saying that there was plenty of things that we could fall in love with all over again whether it is the relationship between Wash and Zoe, or the way that Mal and Inara struggle so hard to voice feelings of affection that they have for each other.
What initially grabbed my attention was the atmosphere of this story. From the start, events unfolded like they would in the tv show. Even if you know that the book will offer a lot that is new, there is never anything wrong with hitting familiar ground. Namely the very things that capture the tension that comes with getting from point A to point B in one piece. There was no way you couldn’t flip through those pages and laugh at what is almost normal routine for the crew. Everything going good one minute, and then not so much the next minute. Whether it is problems with the ship or outside confrontation, that is what you tend to have to look forward to and this creative team nailed the execution with what troubles the crew had to encounter for this debut issue. Especially with the unorthodox ways that the crew got out of what they faced.
The planet they landed on was quite the destination for the way that it challenged this crew. Between the people and the rules of the land, it was a delightful clash with the way that they carry themselves. It was surprising for even Sheppard himself to be challenged as someone who tends to have the strongest composure. That air of familiarity also extended towards the work that they picked up as well. Not for the kind of job, but how things managed to play out where things could only go right for so long. No time was wasted at all there. A bit of exploration, a bit of trouble, and then a solid transition into what is so problematic about where Mal’s journey began. In other words the War of Unification.
Dan McDaid and Marcelo Costa made for a good art team for this book. As I will always say about these licensed titles, the dealbreaker lies with the quality of artwork put into it. This is not to say that you need the realism of the characters from the show, but they of course need to have that likeness for the sake of engagement. I felt like this art team delivered on that front. The characters looked how you would picture them, their actions matched their personalities, and so did their expressions. The only one I wouldn’t have been bothered by is Jane, but that is only because I dislike the actor who played him. That aside, I was impressed by the detail that McDaid was able to put into the ship, the ship’s interior, and even how he could pull off the chaos of when things go wrong with the ship. All of that also came together with good color selection from Costa whether it was the color variation, use of highlights, warm colors. He created depth through all of that to give an energy to the story that added to the intense tone.
Firefly #1 gave me high hopes for what BOOM! Studios can offer with their shot at exploring this verse. These characters are given a voice that you resonate with, and its all the same fun shenanigans that only they can get themselves into trying to simply survive.