Some Men Just Want To See The World Burn In Firefly #9
by James Ferguson
Mal has formed an unlikely alliance with Boss Moon after they saved each other’s lives on New Magistrar. Who knew fighting giant bugs together is a great team building exercise? That may not be enough to keep Mal from a hanging though. Meanwhile, Zoe and a group of renegade Browncoats are having a tense standoff nearby as old memories of war start to creep up.
Firefly #9 provides an intriguing look at war and the effect it has on the soldiers that make it out alive. Everyone handles that kind of trauma differently. For the Browncoats, it’s like the war never ended. They’re still just as angry and bitter as ever without a lick of closure. The Unificators seem to live for conflict, ready to throw down at a moment’s notice and squash anything that resembles a rebellion. Then there’s Mal, who has seen enough death and destruction to last a lifetime. He sees a path out of here, but cooler heads may not prevail in this case.
This resonates with Zoe as well, who never wanted to get wrapped up in another war, but became a symbol overnight. This started as a simple rescue mission and now dozens of lives are in her hands. Artist Dan McDaid illustrates a great sequence where you can see this sink in on Zoe’s face. She goes through a few different emotions as the weight of this newfound responsibility settles in.
McDaid creates some excellent space battles here as the missiles start flying. You get the sense of the David & Goliath setup at work here since the Unificator ship is gigantic and the Browncoat vessels spiral around it like flies. Zoe pleads with both sides to cease fire, but to no avail. Letterer Jim Campbell emphasizes the raw terror in her voice with some bold words that unfortunately go unheard. The most chilling scene comes when the first attacks land and you see a few lifeless bodies drifting in space behind a tearful Zoe.
The sky around these ships is a reddish purple. Colorist Marcelo Costa gives the impression of a sunset in the fiery atmosphere amongst the battle, as if a chapter is closing in the lives of some of these characters. In some cases, it’s the final one. This shifts abruptly when they all make it down to the planet where the sun is shining brightly. Could this be the dawn of a new age?
Firefly #9 is not all doom and gloom. There are some witty moments that will crack a smile. This is a Joss Whedon creation, after all. The opening pages are a nice example of this. They also show how Mal has rubbed off on Moon and vice versa. Writer Greg Pak has shown a fascinating character journey with Moon especially, going from a mean, by-the-book soldier, to a sympathetic woman caught up in something far larger than herself.
That right there is the beauty of Firefly. You can have your fast-paced, fun dialogue one moment, then deep character beats the next. It has a solid range that always entertains. I was already a Firefly fan before this comic began, but now I’m so much more invested in these characters and their lives. This book has provided such an intimate perspective into the crew of the Serenity that is not to be missed.
Firefly #9 from Boom! Studios is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.