‘Firefly #21:’ Advance Comic Book Review

Quick recap: Blue Sun has a new generation of robot law enforcers, and, unlike the previous prototypes, these ones are a bit more familiar looking.

Issue #21 shows just how dedicated Blue Sun is to having their “patrolmen” being the way of the future of law enforcement, and while these robots may look a bit like our ruggedly handsome captain, they may not quite share his sense of equitable justice.  

Greg Pak’s script seems to be bringing us closer to a reunion of our Big Damn Heroes. And when I say reunion, this could be a whole family affair, too, which brings us full circle to what got Mal into his lawman gig in the first place. The issue is some great setup for this big, new event, and I’m really intrigued about where we’re going with this. The artificial intelligence that seems to be at play here with the Blue Sun law enforcers is pretty interesting. While they’re able to replicate Mal’s sense of humor (from all of the footage and data on him), they’re unable to escape their Blue Sun programming which is totally at odds with whom they’re modeled on. I’m far from wanting to be a tech alarmist, and perhaps this isn’t that story in the first place, but it does beg the question if the human psyche can ever be truly understood by just data. #StoriesMatter because, so often, they get to the core of any philosophical quibble that can get so lost in the morass of logical analysis. And perhaps trying to understand the human condition only logically kind of misses the point.

Art duties are split between Lalit Kumar Sharma and Daniel Bayliss in this issue, with Sharma taking over the dusty landscapes and Bayliss taking on the sleeker Blue Sun regional headquarters, and it’s actually a split that really does work here. Marcelo Costa’s colorwork beautifully complements both styles, with some nice grit on the Sharma pages and cold utilitarianism on the Bayliss ones. Jim Campbell’s lettering is remarkable as always, and I especially love his depiction of the banter between the Serenity crew, with accents on all of the words that you’d hear emphasized on the show, truly allowing the reader to stay in the moment with these characters.

Overall, Blue Sun may be rising, but as is the law of nature, what rises will fall at some point. Could be sooner rather than later for the corporation.          


Creative Team: Greg Pak (writer), Lalit Kumar Sharma and Daniel Bayliss (art), Marcelo Costa (colors), Jim Campbell (letterer)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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