‘All-New Firefly’ knows exactly what it needs to be as a new but familiar entry into this franchise, taking a well-known formula and adding a whole new set of twists to mix things up. All those science fiction meets western fun vibes are back in full force creating an experience that is a true delight to behold.
When it comes to alternative currencies in current society, one of the most potent and successful is that of nostalgia. Just a casual glance around the entertainment landscape will showcase how many franchises or stories of the past have been returned to so that more familiar stories can be told.
There is a fine line between just falling too far into nostalgia (repeating stories that we have known) and catching/riding the wave of nostalgia (where things are familiar but new things/directions are explored). All-New Firefly is very much surfing the wave in the best way possible.
We get a great glimpse of that within this third issue, where the crew uses all their skills and talents in order to stop the tax collector thieves and stealing back medical supplies to help the monk shot last issue. This is very much right in the wheelhouse of this crew, using their thieving ways to actually help others in need. Where the difference comes in here is through character growth, namely that of one Jayne Cobb.
David M. Booher has hit exactly the right notes with this series so far in bringing the cast of characters back to their roots while turning the spotlight on the often-one-dimensional seeming Jayne. There was a big moment in this issue where I genuinely felt bad for Cobb as he realized just what others feel about him and made some actual strides to change that.
What the crew of the Serenity chooses to do with their lives can be rough at times but has a bright nature to it, and that is captured perfectly by Jodi Pérez and Francesco Segala, with color assistance from Gloria Martinelli. Not only does Pérez’s artwork capture the gritty and rough feeling of this universe, but the emotional/facial expression work is also top-notch. That moment I mentioned about feeling bad for Jayne happened because the sadness and hurt were 100% clear upon his face and features in those moments. At the same time, Pérez does a great job of pulling back the details which leave certain elements out of focus or less detailed to keep the focus on the people/moment that matters most.
This issue takes place at night, with the confrontation and action elements happening in the dark wide-open areas with a campfire and the moonlight being mostly the only sources of light. It feels heavy and dark but still visible, and it feels authentic thanks to the great color work of Segala and Martinelli. There is a really beautiful watercolor paint quality to the colors where they have flashes of brightness but are also more Earthy and toned down in many ways. With that style shifting between the present day and the Ben-Day dot flashback pages that kick off each issue.
Reaching that perfect balance of great characterization and energy is completed once the lettering enters the room. Jim Campbell does such a great job with the lettering and captures the right tone and energy and personality of all the characters and the world within those bubbles. All the right little changes are brought in to showcase the volume/tone of any given bit of dialogue so that the whispers or shouts or even a really loud laugh are clear to the reader. Artwork often captures that with the aforementioned facial expressions work but the bolds or bigger fonts or other changes that lettering uses in those moments just make it 100% clear and you hear it in your head as you read.
Boom! Studios’ All-New Firefly #3 is now available.