What a glorious day for Browncoats when Firefly makes its long-awaited return to comics. This new series jumps right into the thick of it with a familiar setting. The crew of the Serenity is under attack and their ship is literally on fire. They have to think fast to get out of this mess, but that’s only the first of their problems. Mal’s past as a soldier in the Unification War is about to come back to haunt him.
What you’ll notice about Firefly #1 right off the bat is that it matches up perfectly to the TV show. Writer Greg Pak lines up the dialogue and pacing so it’s like this comic is a lost episode. It’s amazing how all of the fond memories of the show came flowing back to me with every page turn. A huge grin spread across my face as I continued reading because it’s like a reunion with old friends.
This is a ragtag group of people that have been thrown together across the years. They’re struggling to make ends meet and they’ll have disagreements, but they care about each other. They’re very much a family and, as with any family, they can grate on one another. This leads to some of the best dialogue choices throughout the issue. These are things that you can only say to someone you’re very close with.
Letterer Jim Campbell aids in the delivery of the humor with some terrific word balloon placement. The key to a good joke is the delivery, and there are so many great lines that come through perfectly in this issue. Sometimes a single word can pack such a punch, either with humor or emotion and that comes down to how it’s shown on the page.
Artist Dan McDaid captures the essence of each of the main characters. These aren’t exact likenesses, but they don’t have to be. You understand that Mal is, serious yet snarky, and Wash is the lovable goofball from their facial expressions and mannerisms. This extends to the interactions between the characters too, such as the awkward looks between Mal and Inara.
Where McDaid really excels is in the shots in space with the Serenity rocketing through the stars. These are gorgeous images with just the right amount of detail. This is another feature that matches up to the show in that you’re not going to see every single rivet and plate that makes up the ship. It’s a rougher picture, which is fits in with the dynamic of this universe.
The opening scene bounces between signature humor and pure sci-fi terror. Big chunks of the ship are literally on fire. Colorist Marcelo Costa makes these flames pop with blinding yellows and oranges. Sweat is beading on the characters’ faces and you can practically feel the heat coming off the page. This contrasts well with the cool blues of open space.
This is a comic that is sure to please new and old Firefly fans alike. Longtime Browncoats will find a lot of Easter Eggs spread throughout this issue. If this is your first exposure to Firefly, you’ll be able to get up to speed pretty quickly. Obviously, you’ll get more out of this comic if you watched the TV show, but there’s more than enough here for new readers to enjoy.