There’s A Good Person Inside: Reviewing ‘All-New Firefly’ #7

by Scott Redmond


‘All-New Firefly’ is a series that mines the familiar elements of the fan-favorite short-lived television series while also digging even deeper to build a bigger and newer foundation that allows the characters and their world to expand in the best way possible. Jayne Cobb remains a highlight of this run, a fact that was once surprising, becoming a much more nuanced and three-dimensional character while retaining many of the elements that were always part of his character.


One of the hallmarks of a typical Firefly episode is that the main characters attempt to help someone or commit a crime but end up in quite a difficult situation. Naturally, we would watch them struggle with whatever the dire situation might be, numerous times it being deadly traps that snared the ship, but in the end, they would triumph.

With the seventh issue of All-New Firefly, we get a situation that calls back to those great television-style moments while continuing to build these characters and this world in a much different way. In the last issue review, I noted that the series felt like “a very expanded episode of the television series that is based upon” and how that was not a bad thing, which is a sentiment that still very much holds here. David M. Booher hits all the right character beats and elements that stretch the tension to the maximum as the crew deals with the about-to-explode sticky bombs upon Serenity’s surface.

Some would say that such a sequence could have been done in a page or two, but the way that it’s extended and takes up a good chunk of the overall issue just works for me. Doing it this way allowed the countdown to play out over more pages, ramping up the aforementioned tension with every passing page. All that was interspersed with the usual playful but also borderline serious banter, sometimes antagonistic banter, between the crew.

One of the huge things that this series has done is keep adding depth and complexity to Jayne Cobb, giving us a bit more here with the continuation of his backstory flashbacks, but at the same time showing that even as he changes, he’s still partially the same Jayne. Yet, for every moment like him touching the bomb when he should not there are the moments where he again doesn’t follow orders but this time because he wants to prove himself to his newly found son who doesn’t respect him.

All of that tension is enhanced with the continued solid and awesome work of Vincenzo Federici and Matt Herms. While there is still a lot of the perfectly fitting roughness to be found within the artwork, there is a bit of a smoothness that is showcased too with much of the issue taking place in space. Even with the tense things happening it’s hard not to stare at the gorgeous space scenes and marvel at the depth that is achieved and the dark but also beautiful colors that are showcased.

Achieving that ramped-up tension is not just because we see the bomb countdown and actions stretched out across the pages, the way that the panels are arranged is key here. From solo close-up shots of either the bombs or the characters to wide shots to jagged and tilted panels, it keeps the eyes moving around and keeps us a bit off guard as it keeps shifting and changing much like the overall situation. My favorite are the pages where the countdown clock is a panel at the top followed by various character/action panels stacked beneath.

Being within space and ships mostly there are not a lot of bright natural colors to be found, but Herms hits the right notes with the shadows and finds ways to make the unnatural elements play into the story. Within Serenity there is the ominous red light filling the space as the alarms are going off, mirrored by the red light of the bombs that face the crew that are outside. All that warm light fits perfectly right alongside the more cool and welcoming blues and blacks that dot space around them. Herms’s colors feel bright and slightly slick but also very toned down in a more realistic way compared to how colors tend to take on a bigger bolder almost unnatural approach for something like a superhero story.

For those that watched the original Firefly series, the characters likely will always sound like their respective actors within one’s mind. While that voice can’t be heard the same way in print, the things that letterers like Jim Campbell do so well allow us to still hear it in a sense. There is a ton of personality and emotion coming off the words on the page, the right uses of bold or smaller/bigger fonts for emphasis make the right words pop out and mentally match the speaking patterns that we know for these characters.

I really like how the regular tone of speaking is in all caps but softer uses of “oh” or “uh” are rendered in smaller sentence case with a bit of an italicization to the font. It makes the moment even more impactful, and it causes the mind to rightfully read it as a softer or quieter moment compared to the rest.

All-New Firefly #7 is now available.

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