Just the right notes of familiar and new are continuing to be played as the new series slides into this second issue where more about the new characters and their dynamics is explored. Mascolo and Giammarino are a great duo who fully understand the duality that exists within this complicated science fiction western-inspired world they are now able to play with.
It is no secret these days that even more than ever, nostalgia is a very heady brew. One can hardly look any direction without spotting some TV series, movie, comic book, or other forms of entertainment that is a direct sequel, spinoff, remake, or revival of something they remember from the past. Nostalgia is the business and business is really good.
That’s not saying that nostalgia is something bad. In fact, when used well and with the right people, things that hinge on some type of nostalgia can actually not only be really good, but even expand far beyond the source material they are launching from. Firefly: Brand New ‘Verse is still a young book. but seems to be leaning closer to being that type of nostalgia-induced product.
Josh Lee Gordon knows just the right number of familiar faces and themes to drop into this piece to call back to any fond feelings of the original Firefly series while also making sure that it stands alone as its own things. This is fully helped by having a very diverse and engaging new cast of characters. There is plenty of room to go with them because they are not like the original cast of characters who were deeply tied to the way the actors portrayed them on the short-lived TV series.
Gordon gives us enough tidbits of history and plenty of personality to start to engage with this cast. Having Zoe still there alongside this cast (which includes her daughter with her late husband Wash) helps. She’s the elder voice of reason to help guide them. At the same time she’s a voice that is stuck in some old ways that this new cast is ably and correctly pushing back at.
In this same vein, Fabiana Mascolo and Lucia Di Giammarino are dipping into the familiar such as the ship Serenity itself and characters like Zoe (and some other familiar cameos near the end of the issue). They are really cutting lose at depicting this sci-fi future setting. There is still a great sense of energy around their work. The coloring is both crisp and new while also slightly dimmer and older looking in order to showcase the two distinct realms of this world: the realms of the corporations/haves and the one with everyone else in it.
Jim Campbell brings his own life to the pages with bold and loud SFX lettering in some places and softer and lighter in others, adding that tangible aspect to the action. The other lettering with the dialogue is solid and does exactly what it is supposed to do. It never detracts or distracts from the rest of what is going on which is the mark of a good letterer. Even in the spaces where the balloons have to be closer together, the reading flow is never broken and makes perfect sense.
There are some minor quibbles with how Zoe reacts in regard to the potential of dealing in human cargo, something that rings a little off after the events of the original series. At the same time, her actions with the new crew and what they decide to do despite her feelings feel truer. Time will tell how this plot goes.
Firefly: Brand New ‘Verse #2 is now on sale from BOOM! Studios in print and digitally.