The Serenity Soars Again In Firefly #1

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

The Serenity flies through space with one of its engines on fire. The crew had to install a low-quality engine part, and it’s coming back to bite them. Consequently, they have to eject part of the engine, and a dreadnought finds them shortly after. The Serenity is able to evade the ship by ejecting fuel cells, but this leaves the ship in dire need of a landing. Mal and the crew find a small moon called Bethlehem occupied by religious practitioners and bandits. The crew of the Serenity must find a job to pay for new engine parts and fuel cells, and the believers of Bethlehem are willing to supply a job.

Firefly #1 cover by Lee Garbett
Firefly #1 cover by Lee Garbett

The film Serenity is the beginning and end of my familiarity with Firefly. Sorry, I’m a bad nerd. I should have watched this show by now, but there’s only so much time in the day.

That said, Firefly the comic has a strong first issue. The concept of outlaws scouring space for jobs, money, and entertainment is an enticing one to me from the outset (track down and read Heartbreak Quadrant by Barrett Stanley, similar concept and a great comic).

Mal, Zoe, and the crew are interesting characters with diverse personalities. Mal especially impresses with his swagger and humor covering up a man badly damaged by war.

Most of the crew only has time to barely introduce themselves and establish their quirks, admittedly, but what is shown does set up an interesting lot of space mercenaries.

The situation on Bethlehem is constructed quite cleverly too. What starts off looking like a standard allegory on religion turns into a pretty interesting story about passing responsibility and the importance of which hands blood ends up on.

Firefly #1 art by Dan McDaid, Marcelo Costa, and letterer Jim Campbell
Firefly #1 art by Dan McDaid, Marcelo Costa, and letterer Jim Campbell

Dan McDaid’s artwork conveys that rough and ready aesthetic the script calls for while just looking good. Mal looks like Nathan Fillion while having some little visual alterations that makes the character look more like a weathered veteran-turned-drifter. One odd caveat is how claustrophobic the art feels at times. Even on the expanse of Bethlehem, the panels feel tight and straining for space. That doesn’t kill the art though; McDaid still does a good job. Marcelo Costa’s color work gels really well, too.

Firefly #1 is a compelling next step for the sci-fi series-turned-film. The characters are good, the concept is intriguing, and the artwork is rock solid. This one is worth a recommendation. Feel free to check it out.

Firefly #1 comes to us from writer Greg Pak, artist Dan McDaid, color artist Marcelo Costa, letterer Jim Campbell, cover artist Lee Garbett, and variant cover artists Joe Quinones, JG Jones, Lee Garbett, Bill Sienkiewicz, Jock, Tula Lotay, Adam Riches, and Diego Galindo.

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