Writer: Greg Pak
Artists: Dan McDaid & Marcelo Costa
Firefly’s following exemplifies the best of fandom, made from those who carry the torch of a long-gone strike of brilliance. Receiving a premature death, the show manages to remain in the consciousness of nerd culture. Garnering new fans each year, the universe is enrapturing and any new material to that canon shows it. This new comic series breathes life back into the franchise, readying for a spectacular revival.
Managing to capture that spark from the show is the first obstacle for anyone hoping to add to Firefly’s lore. Luckily, Greg Pak has the gumption to take on the challenge and excel at it. The story is simple, the crew must help a religious group reach their holy site. Things go haywire when Mal and Zoe’s soldier past rears its ugly head; they have a bounty on their heads. It feels like the old “problem of the week” episodes the show put out and it’s a perfect start to the series. There are signs of an overarching narrative forming too based on the Unification War’s consequences. The chance to explore the franchise lore is enticing for me and hopefully for new readers too. Luckily, if someone isn’t familiar with the show, they can be brought up to speed fairly quickly by reading this issue. Pak must have the characters’ voices fresh in his mind since they feel familiar while still being ripe for character development.
There’re small character-defining moments in the issue and that’s fine for now, there’s no need for immediate exposition. Being an adaptation of a tv show, many fans already know what to expect from them. The series needs to start out new reader friendly to stay accessible and introduce the universe to everyone else. This arc sets the basic ideas for the characters’ personalities and gives fun glimpses of their relationships, motivations, and interactions. I trust Pak to fill in the gaps as he goes, embracing more parts of their personalities and fleshing them out. If we reach issue seven and there’s nothing to be said about the crew, then I can talk trash. For now, I’m enjoying the first arc and see that this is building towards solid character exploration. Besides, Zoe and Wash shooting each other out of love proves that the little moments have the most room to play.
Calling back to spaghetti westerns, the backdrop of the book is one of the best elements. McDaid takes great care in making the world of Firefly feel like a cowboy flick. Part of the world’s mystique is its genre-blending futuristic elements like spaceships with rugged desert terrain. We see the ships, the blasters, the holograms, all the good stuff. These all look awesome and stand out well in the shootout scenes. There’s more to be done and we are left with a sense that McDaid is going to shine in large action sequences. Costa’s colors get their time to shine too, usually highlighting the flashback scenes with hellfire reds. It’s an experience seeing the ways this art team manages to engage with Mal’s recollections of the war. Costa also accentuates character expressions with gusto, giving Wash a large, shit-eating grin when after shooting Zoe in reciprocation. Firefly #2 is a lively spot in the arc that captures the show’s original feel. It’s early on in the series so it’s also a great time to pick it up and start anew. If you’re a fan of the show or just looking for a fun romp with fabulous world-building, get this book.
Firefly carries the show’s spark and gives its lore room to breathe. Worth checking out for fans of the show or the Western genre.