What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about the debut of Firefly: Brand New ‘Verse #1! Now I enjoyed that last issue of Firefly, but I had to be honest with myself. As a fan of Firefly, I was really ready for a genuinely new experience. I didn’t want to see the same wars, or even see a character like Jane holding the spot in the main cast. I was ready for this story that takes us 20 years after the events of Firefly, and brings something new to the table through the adventures of Emma, the daughter of Wash and Zoë.
That said, the main thing here was seeing what kind of Verse we were stepping into 20 years later. As anxious as one would be to jump into that, you would still feel hesitant about how far this could stray from what is familiar about Firefly. I would say that halfway through this first issue you had a pretty good idea as to what you should expect from this creative team. I was left with the impression that this creative team knew exactly what they were doing. The first scene established the point in time we were placed in. This wasn’t the same Verse we knew before. It looked as though there was actually change in the way that people were living, closer to the inside that is. Though at the same time you could see how there were some things that just had to stay the same. Such things as what regular people need to do in order to get by day to day. So they really did stay true to what kind of experience we would get out of this.
From there we got a good idea as to the kind of character we were dealing with in Emma. This was also a refreshing change of pace from the books where the lead was either Malcom or Zoe. Both are great characters in their own right, but with them you always have their baggage and attitudes which were troublesome and rough. Though with Emma as the new lead, there’s a different energy to the story which captures a sense of innocence and normalcy you don’t get often enough. In turn, Emma at the same time brings out a different side to Zoe that we don’t see too often either. It’s one thing when she is dealing with a problematic crew member, or even friend, but it is a whole different kind of interaction when it is a daughter who knows how to work her nerves. Now there wasn’t too much from the rest of the cast which gives you a proper introduction to who they are and what makes them worth investment, though from the first situation they find themselves in, you at the very least might find it enjoyable that there is existing chemistry between them to explore.
This just leaves us with the trouble they found themselves in. All of this was familiar territory that I didn’t mind this creative team leaving us in. Same ship troubles, same job troubles. Though credit where it was due there was still an element of surprise to what could go wrong. Especially at the end of this first issue where we see that the crew find more than they bargained for, because even the description of the cargo they were sent for was exactly what you thought it was.
Beyond that, there was the interior art from this art team which impressed me. It was one thing to give us a nice cover, but I was taken back by the quality of work that also went into the visuals for this book’s interiors too. When it came to the other Firefly book, I would say that the artwork was okay. Nothing too special, or bad either. Though this art team is definitely on a different level between the pencils and colors. The pencil work I have to commend most for a book like Firefly because it will always be important to have an artist who knows how to bring that feeling of familiarity to the visuals. That is what immerses you best in a story that is adapted from a show. I looked at Zoe and knew immediately who that was, and it was even a step-up that this penciler was able to perfectly capture a version of her aged. From there the colors were also on point. The color choice was more varied, full, though above all creating an atmosphere which brought the same energy as you felt from Emma.
All in all, I felt like by the end of Firefly: Brand New ‘Verse #1, I felt myself excited for the issues to follow in a way that I haven’t been before.