As any good Firefly story starts out, the Serenity is in trouble due to some cheap parts Mal bought (but mostly thanks to Jayne losing most of their money). With some deft flying from Walsh and quick fixes from Kaylee, they manage to stabilize it, but the damage means they have to set down on one of the nearby moons instead of a central planet (which was their destination to drop off Inara).
But then an Alliance Dreadnaught shows up, and only by dumping their fuel cells can the crew of Serenity escape and land on one of the nearby moons. Of course this means they now have to somehow find money to buy new fuel cells, in addition to everything else.
Jayne initially gets in an altercation in a bar (well…not really a bar since there’s no alcohol on this moon) and that lands them with a job as protection for the Pilgrims of Mariah (Moriah…sorry). The Pilgrims are a devoutly religious lot who encounter another devoutly religious lot…each side considers the other Pagans. But with only a little bit of punching, Mal, Zoe, and Jayne manage to drive off the instigators.
But as they’re dealing with the anger by the Pilgrims at NOT having killed anybody, the dreadnaught returns, scattering the area with pamphlets that all announce a bounty for two war criminals: Malcom Reynolds and Zoe Alleyne.
When trying to think of a writer who can perfectly capture the wit and dark humor of the Firefly TV show (aside from its creator, Joss Whedon), a few names spring to mind.
Greg Pak being the top of my list.
Greg Pak does such a phenomenal job returning us to the world of Firefly, a television show that ended all too soon. He drops us right into this world with no real explanation given. We’re assumed to have at least a basic knowledge of the crew of Serenity, and I’m okay with that. If you’re not sure who any of them are, check out the entire series. You won’t be disappointed.
The dialogue is so perfectly written for EVERY character (from Mal and Walsh’s back and forth over the ship to Jayne’s grumbling, to Kaylee’s constant attempts to set Mal up with Inara) that I could honestly hear the actor’s voices in my head as I read this issue. It made me smile as though I had returned to an old friend. Made me wish for more of the show.
But you know what?
This is a more than acceptable substitute.
It’s not just the dialogue that made this issue great. It was the setting in kind of a western land, but also the conflict with religion that was often a point of contention between Mal and Preacher on the show. We see two different denominations (of what religion we’re not told but it’s irrelevant) both thinking they are right and the others are heretics and both willing to advocate for violence even if they aren’t willing to be violent themselves. It’s definitely a commentary on religion in general, but it doesn’t really come out and decide whether or not religion is bad…rather leaves it up for discussion over who was right and who was wrong and maybe some food for thought.
The art is perhaps the weakest point. The structure is nice, but I feel like the characters often lack some depth, possibly due to the artist taking on both pencils and inks. It’s not all bad, and there are some very great scenes and McDaid’s art on the ships and vehicles and pretty much everything but people is amazing, but compared to the rest of the book, it just wasn’t as good as it should have been.
On the other hand, the colors from Costa are amazing. The opening scene of the Serenity looks like a painting and it doesn’t go down from there.
It’s a great start to a book I wasn’t even intending on reading at first. I normally don’t care for comic adaptations of TV shows, but this one grabbed my eye and I’m glad it did.
I normally don’t enjoy comic books based on TV shows or movies. Typically they lack the feel of the source material, lack the magic. But Greg Pak on Firefly has definitely changed my mind! It feels like the show in all the ways that matter and he has done Joss Whedon proud.
Firefly #1: You Can’t Take the Sky From Me
Writing - 10/10
Storyline - 9/10
Art - 7/10
Color - 9/10
Cover Art - 7/10
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