The latest issue in this spinoff series takes both the time to further the overall plot but also flesh out more of the new cast and the myriad of relationships between them and the older more familiar characters. Every bit of the art fully understands the dualities of this fictional world both in regard to the sci-fi/western mashup but also the divide between the have and have nots of this universe. HIt all the correct notes that a spinoff should when connecting to the world of before and also moving everything forward.
Sometimes diving into the familiar just enough to be reminded of that which came before is actually the best way to really explore that which is new. This is exactly the route taken with Firefly: Brand New ‘Verse #3, which takes time to both bring back some more familiar original cast characters and gives new cast room to further showcase themselves.
This is one of those breather-type stories in the middle of the action that both furthers the overall plot (this mysterious woman, Blue Sun hunting for her, and the new Serenity crew dealing with it all) but also have plenty of talk time for characters. This time is used to catch up on things from the past with the old characters and the new characters express themselves more and really prove how they are different but also too similar to those that came before.
Fabiana Mascolo and Lucia Di Giammarino are truly drawing a beautiful space western series, getting to jump around to a lot of lush and different and engaging environments after getting to go pretty space action-heavy in the last issue. Both the images and coloring have a rugged nature to them that is fitting for this western rugged future. Rugged but also it has this crisp and bright nature to it at times, like with Blue Sun stuff, that helps make these ‘two worlds’ of this future visually believable.
The imagery of a nearly underwater San Francisco was really eye-catching later in the issue, as the exploration of the Earth that was in both this and the main Firefly book is beyond welcome to see.
As mentioned in the first review, the detail to make returning characters look similar but not deadest depictions of the actors from the old show is the best choice. Simon and Kaylee are so themselves in this issue without having to be taken out by them being picture-perfect recreations of the actors. They are their own characters while also being characters that fans are familiar with. Also, the emotions are perfectly depicted upon each face, in a kinetic way that doesn’t feel like just a captured static image.
Jim Campbell makes the large amount of dialogue in the issue work, as it never distracts or pulls away from all the art away from it. Just blends in perfectly to make it all a symphony. At the same time, the really big and bold SFX that interrupts the moment perfectly as they would and should is so great. Phones have a habit of breaking almost any quiet or calm moments when they ring/buzz loudly, and that is captured at the moment during one of the scenes.
Josh Lee Gordon knows this world and is adding so much of his own flare to it, and it’s working. Both the old characters and the new ones feel so fleshed out and bring so much to the page. Getting a chance to really explore Zoe and Emma’s very broken but relatable relationship. There is also a really great bit where the loss of Wash gets explored a lot more, and what it did to Zoe really puts some of her decisions in this series so far make more sense.
There is a lot of story packed into this issue but it never feels like too much and it never feels rushed. It naturally flows as each event leads right into the next and the next. This type of story where we leap forward and explore more of a world/universe not so attached to the previous depictions is a great way to go. The main book has good points but it’s forever weighed down by the baggage of attachment to the specific characters. This book is free to soar because it doesn’t have all that baggage.
Firefly: Brand New ‘Verse #3 is now on sale from BOOM! Studios in print and digitally.