FIREFLY # 11
After arriving in the thick of things, Ma Reynolds fires on the Alliance vessel and makes them turn tail and run. Soon after Inara arrives and warns them all they will be back with Land Burners, but assures them she has been promised respite if they leave quickly. Despite Ma Reynold’s assertion they won’t use them they soon return and make a liar out of both her and Inara. After dealing with the lone craft most of the crew decide to split, but either honour-bound or shamed (take your pick) Mal joins his mother. And inevitably, Zoë decides to follow him and Wash to follow her. But not before Inara tells Mal she is sure it will end in his death.
Writing: Pak yet again gives a perfect rendition of not only the crew and their individual voices, but also the way the adventures of this motley crew pretty much always pan out. There is a face off and bluff of the big bad. Then we have some off-the-cuff humorous chatter about how pretty Mal is. Throw in a little subterfuge, predictably from Jayne but also the self serving governor. And finally a little discussion about the rights and wrongs of what is going on and the team split up with Inara throwing Mal a tantalising glimpse of her feelings for him. As well as the throwback to the strong bond between Kaylee and Inara in this one exchange, familiar in it’s sentiment
Coupled with proof of my prediction that Zoë would have words with the woman who cold-cocked Wash last issue, this for me just sums up all that is good and pure with the writing in this book. Some grumblings from the occasional fan about the inconsistency of continuity regarding Mal’s mom and the fate of Shadow has to my mind been as cleared up as you can get. His home world wasn’t completely destroyed but more decimated and on it’s knees. And let’s hear no more about it. This also helps to inform motivation for each of the main protagonists here. Mal and his mother want to ensure this isn’t repeated, joined by the war weary Zoë. While Inara and the less battle hardened members just want to get away. On top of which I just loved the little asides with Inara and Kaylee and everyone joking about Mal and his hard/soft face. Not to mention his flashback, which explains so much about his embittered relationship with his mother in just a few short panels and also informs of his reason for his later decision to follow her as she shames him into some misguided sense of honour.
Art: McDaid also plays his part with the facial expressions here. In a story that involves so much standing around arguing it is important to differentiate the determination, anger, wistfulness and desperation on each person’s face. And this is present in every panel and the inks of Federici again help get that across in the linework. I do feel the slight loss of Lafuente’s sunsets, but I think Marcelo Costa is actually more suited to the feel of this issue. Whereas the sunset imagery was spectacular last issue and suited the rather buoyant and hopeful mood, the muted twilight here is also fully in keeping with the sombre mood switch and the dark blue hanging over everyone is prevalent in it’s oppressive malevolence. As well as the lettering of Jim Campbell adding the perfect amount of shock and awe with the lettering.
And as usual the covers give the issue added quality, with Lee Garbett giving us the ethereal beauty of Inara in the main cover, Joe Quinones pre order version of the girls of Serenity, Juan Doe depicting the irrepressible River in action a 1 in 15 publication and Will Sliney & Triona Farrell touchingly showing the only couple in this rabble capable of expressing how they feel about each other with any degree of success.
Overall I have to say this issue was the perfectly inevitable way to see this adventure unfold, even if it isn’t yet ended and still keeps me guessing as to how things will resolve. Especially as everyone is finally reunited, only to be torn apart yet again. Frustrating yet full of promise. My only regret is that Zoë didn’t get a good roundhouse in on the woman that wronged her man. Yet more frustration.
Some smart talkin’, some fightin’, and some backstabbin’. Yeah this was Firefly alright!
Firefly #11: Nothing Else Matters
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Art - 8/108/10
Color - 7/107/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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