‘Firefly #1:’ Advance Comic Book Review

I’ve often heard the television show, Firefly, described as the best 14 hours of your life, followed by a lifetime of disappointment. It’s true. One of the greatest sci-fi shows ever created ended much too soon. Despite the follow-up movie (Serenity), some other releases via various media, and a massive, post-cancellation cult following fifteen years later, there’s been no solid comeback for the show in any format. And, with each passing year, it seems we will never experience the adventures of Captain Mal and his band of mismatched ruffians on television again.

This is part of what makes the release of the Firefly #1 comic such a big deal. Previously with Dark Horse under the series title of Serenity, the franchise has made the jump to BOOM! Studios and hopes to find a home with longtime and new fans alike. After reading the first issue, I don’t think they’ll have any issues establishing their footing and fanbase.

There were so many things that made Firefly an iconic show, and all of that is captured here in Firefly #1.  From Captain Malcolm “Mal” Reynold’s quick wit to Jayne’s grumpy nature to Inara’s beauty and mystique, the writing (Greg Pak) resurrects these characters in the best way possible. It’s as if they have never left the fans. The dialogue is snappy, just as in the show, and the relationships between characters are apparent from the first few panels. The ship is still the most patched-together one in the universe – duct tape and a rubber band would do more for the ship than the parts Mal buys. And, their misadventures are still crazy and wrought with trouble.

Dan McDaid’s art is the perfect combination of grit and beauty, and each character is easily recognizable, even if you never read one line of dialogue. Their personalities come through in magnificent facial expressions (particularly Mal’s), and the nostalgia factor is sky high. The settings, however, are the best part of the art, giving the reader everything from fire so real you can smell it to the iconic Western scenes of the show. Little details, like Captain Mal’s mug, make the panels even more enjoyable. There are also a handful of amazing variant covers to make collectors very happy.

The comic takes very little risk in terms of deviating from the show’s storyline or exploring new frontiers, but that pays off for the creators. The issue serves as not only an introduction to the characters for new readers, but a re-introduction to longtime fans. It provides that warm, comfortable feel for those fans – the official welcome back home to the ship and the world we miss so much. The first page even includes some of the best-loved quotes from the show, the ones that fans still quote today. There are hints of exploring Mal and First Mate Zoë Alleyne’s past in the Unification War, where they fought together. This opens up the possibilities of new tales, the ones fans always knew were there, but never got to experience.

Firefly #1 is more than just nostalgia and rekindling of an old flame. It brings joy to the fans who have long awaited the “perfect” reboot of the characters. It lets new readers know just how amazing that world can be. And, if the creators stay on this trajectory, it will launch into the ‘verse as some of the best sci-fi comics out there.


Creative Team: Creator – Joss Whedon; Writer – Greg Pak; Illustrator – Dan McDaid; Colorist – Marcelo Costa; Letterer – Jim Campbell; Cover Artist – Lee Garbett
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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