After achieving a great jumping on style character focused piece with the last issue, the latest Firefly tries to pack too much stuff into too small of a space where nothing has actual room to breathe. The art side of the creative team delivers and manages to bring some interest to the flurry of happenings within the pages. Any newer readers, and maybe even some existing ones, are not going to find this quite so easy to follow.
Sometimes there is an opening act that can get the audience quite hyped only for the main act or the following one to come in and, in comparison, be a bit of a letdown. It’s not that the main/following act wasn’t putting in its all or anything. It’s just that the opener had more energy and was a step above. This is about where things land when putting Firefly #27 and #28 side by side.
As someone hopping into the series midway, the last issue was a nice character piece that filled in holes about previous stories and how things got from the show and film to that point. It was the Malcolm Reynolds survival/misery tour and it was effective at being a good jumping on point. Unfortunately, that jump led right into the middle of the next issue that crams all the characters back together and right into the middle of a previously established plot and things happen rapid-fire, but not in a good way.
Greg Pak fully gets the characters and is trying to seemingly move things towards a new story he wants to tell, but it’s a lot to take in and much suffers in the process. Sometimes that is the price paid in any storytelling medium when trying to pick things up that you got away from momentarily. Pak is a great writer and this is no swipe at that legacy, this issue just didn’t land the same as the previous one. It happens sometimes.
There is a change too in the issue as Simona Di Gianfelice and Francesco Segala are on the art, while Jim Campbell remains on the letters. Their styles are similar to what Ethan Young and Joana Lafuente offered with the last issue. All of the main usual characters are familiar-looking without being full renditions of the actors that portrayed them. The coloring is a great mix of bright and dark, which fits the mix of character and action pieces of the story especially giving the more ‘family’ focused moments a nice pop of color which is fitting with some of the themes and plot points of the issue, the character moments having some really nice colorful pops.
There is a great range in Di Gianfelice’s work, able to move from the icy wastes of a planet into the depths of space and the battles that take place there. The work easily keeps up with the frantic amount of stuff that Pak’s script tossed at them in this issue. Campbell excelled at his lettering work as he does and nailed the massive amounts of dialogue that were dropped through these pages compared to the slightly ‘quieter’ previous issue.
The overall cliffhanger of the issue makes up a bit for some of the fast pace as it’s executed in a less frantic way. It opens a door that likely many Firefly fans have been wanting to see open since the very beginning. One of the majorly unexplored realms of this futuristic sci-fi western world is a realm we are very intimately familiar with.
Overall as stated before, the issue isn’t bad or a failure, but it just can’t match up with the opening act that was the previous one.
Firefly #28 is now on sale from Boom Studios in print and digitally.