Like Father, Like Son: Reviewing ‘All-New Firefly’ #5

by Scott Redmond


‘All-New Firefly’ turns the spotlight even further onto one of the crew’s most unexplored members, giving us a ton of deeper character-developing moments. This series has been a really great return to form for the Serenity crew while also building and deepening this universe, taking it to places that it hasn’t been to before.


No matter how long it’s been or how far someone runs, sometimes it’s pretty near impossible to outrun the past. All-New Firefly is making sure Jayne Cobb learns that lesson in a pretty significant and life-changing way.

It’s been a pretty great joy to have a series that not only returned the crew of the Serenity to what they do best, doing crime but also having good hearts to help the helpless, but also one that has focused on a character that has had little development over the years. Big brash Jayne Cobb, quick to betray or take charge, has had glimpses of character moments over time but David M. Booher is giving us such a good meal when it comes to his past. Through the flashbacks we’ve seen who Jayne was, and still can be, when it comes to his family and things that led him down the path that he was on as we came to know him.

Throwing in an unknown son and bringing his brother into the mix gives us a really great issue where Jayne has to answer for his absence the past few years while also trying to juggle the new family situation. Taking a character like Jayne and making him relatable and sympathetic is such a big-time move and showcases how great this series has been so far. Getting character spotlight issues like these, where it’s a lot of development and talking, is always a treat because it gives us far more insight into these characters and what they are feeling or what they desire.

There is an artistic change in this issue as Vincenzo Federici and Matt Herms step in to handle the art and colors after the past few issues had Jodi Pérez, Francesco Segala, and Gloria Martinelli in those roles. It’s a very solid sort of change as Federici’s style has some similarities to what Pérez was bringing in the previous issues. Plenty of detail while also having plenty of panels where detail is left behind to have blank or sparse backgrounds that allow the emotional/face expression closeups to have a bigger impact. These are characters living in a rough world living rough lives, and the artwork captures that quite well.

With most of the action happening on Serenity and on the planet during the daytime, there is a lot more brightness to be found at times, but the shadows and weight of darkness are still there around the edges to provide the heavy tone of this story. The past issues were a bit heavier with darkness because of the setting of nighttime, but Herms gives us more light here with the setting changes and it matches the slightly lighter tone that comes with family issues. Yet, we see those heavier dark tones returning when the issue cuts to the new attack on the monk’s sanctuary and the reveal at the end about the crew’s mission not being quite complete on this planet.

Character spotlight issues come with more dialogue and making sure that flows well and has great energy is key, which is something Jim Campbell does well. All the personalities and tones are captured perfectly, and changes made to the font so that we know when folks are yelling or whispering or just regularly conversing. There are fewer physical action moments here that might need ‘sound’ but where there are we get colorful big loud immersive SFX.

All-New Firefly #5 is now available.

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