Review: ‘Firefly’ #33 Leaves A Lot To Be Desired

by Scott Redmond


‘Firefly’ is a series that can soar high but more often than not is a series that can’t seem to get beyond skimming across the ground, especially in this current bloated storyline back on the Earth That Was. Visually it looks fantastic as the art team brings the world and universe to vivid life. Unfortunately, the story leans into some of the worst tropes that can’t help but bring it all down.


There is that whole biblical phrase about giving and taking away that has been adapted into common vernacular over time. Comic books, just like all mediums, very often can give and then away either within the next issue or sometimes in the very same issue.

After a slight rebound with the last issue, Boom Studios’ Firefly slipped back into a very uncomfortable spot that has marred much of this current very long storyline.

There is a lot that can be done within this world and with these characters, and Greg Pak often taps into that. There is little doubt that he likes this world and its characters, as there are times where they feel real and right and like they’ve grown. Other times, mostly when there are too many characters altogether, they can feel like shadow caricatures of themselves. Right now though none of this is the real issue of this storyline.

As mentioned in the review for Firefly #29 there are a whole number of very uncomfortable and off-putting vibes coming off this Earth That was plotline. The humans left on Earth talk in a very broken language in ways that are seemingly akin to how media likes to depict the vast number of indigenous tribal groups around the world through time. This is their home, and yet the Firefly crew ends up mowing tons of them down at the start and now in this issue turns on them.

This turn comes because these people are depicted as angry and backstabbing as they held some of the crew’s friends secretly to use as leverage. They want to wipe out the invaders that are pillaging the world for artifacts to sell. These folks from the other side of the ‘verse have families and civilians along to be here helping do all this, as they use a mercenary unit to strike down the natives.

It reads like an unfortunately very poorly conceived attempt to tackle some of the terrible evil broken moments of human history, that miss the mark in so many ways.  There was some hope here as the crew and the Earthers were getting along and seemingly were going to fight back against the corporate interests together, but that’s all out the window. Leaning into some of the worst depictions of marginalized groups in media history is never a good idea.

Despite that, Simona Di Gianfelice (who returns after a few issues away) and Francsco Segala continue to do very solid work. Once again they get to really dive into some big action scenes and some really amazing scenes, such as the arrival of Serenity behind Kaylee and Jayne at one point and give them a lot of great life. This world looks big and lush and wide open on many of the pages, Segala’s colors adding that push to fully make them feel that way.

Last time they worked together there was a lot of use of a sort of red and yellow filter from Segala, but here there are still a lot of really bright colors but they are more natural at times. Leaning into the fact that this gorgeous world of ours has healed in a way following the collapse of how we have our society currently.

Jim Campbell does that magic that he does with the dialogue and other lettering, making it flow and work through the issue. There is more SFX than some of the previous issues, as there are more big action and weapon-type moments that need that big of sound to hit home. They are all still very impactful spots though, which is usually how the effects have been used in his previous work across this book.

Firefly #33 is now on sale in print and digitally from Boom! Studios.

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