Taking A Mighty Leap: Reviewing ‘All-New Firefly’ #10

by Scott Redmond


‘All-New Firefly’ expertly brings the various threads that it’s been weaving together in order to prepare for the upcoming big series finale issue, putting a striking cap on the fantastic Jayne Cobb growth. This has been such a wonderful series full of rich character work and gorgeous powerful artwork which all showcases just how well this universe can work and continue to be explored over twenty years later.


Quite often people quote a variation of the saying about how it’s not the destination that matters but the journey that matters. While that might be true in some respects, many times both the destination and the journey matter just as much. That is certainly the case when it comes to All-New Firefly. 

Here with the tenth and penultimate issue, the journey of this series of one Jayne Cobb has almost reached its final destination, and that destination is pretty damn good. I’ve never hidden in these reviews how Jayne was by far my least favorite character from Firefly, with some supporting or one-off characters probably being more favored than him in many cases. A mostly flat one-dimensional character seemingly ready to sell anyone/anything out for a buck. Then David M. Booher came along and just flipped that upside down and sideways. 

At this point, there are so many new dimensions to Jayne thanks to our exploration of his past as well as the introduction of a son that he wasn’t aware of. Even with all this Jayne evolution, there is still plenty of room for great moments for the rest of the Serenity crew across these ten issues. This one though is the culmination of a number of things ahead of the upcoming All-New Firefly: Big Damn Finale issue that will wrap up the series. 

In this issue we get a return once more to the Earth That Was, Jayne finds Owen, the mystery of the Requiem monk’s relics/portal is revealed, the mercenaries that attacked previously are also revealed, and the Serenity crew fights back as Jayne/Owen return to where they belong. Probably seems like a lot for one issue but it all has plenty of room to breathe as it moves pretty rapidly in great succession. Booher moves all the pieces to where they needed to end up to wrap things up and does it masterfully. 

Once more we get fantastic work from Simona Di Gianfelice and Francesco Segala, with Gloria Martinelli on color assists, to bring visual life to this story. A good portion of this final issue is characters sitting/standing around discussing things, which means that things like setting the scene and facial expressions/body language must be on point to make the emotions and tone of the moment tangible. That is something that Di Gianfelice is easily able to do, as we can feel every emotion through these pages and the settings around them are visually appealing with depth and a true lived-in feeling that makes the world feel even more real. 

Both the Requiem monastery and the old church on Earth That Was feel spacious but also worn down as they should be. The glimpses we get of Earth That Was are just spectacular, as nature has reclaimed most stuff, just as they were when we first saw the planet in the previous series (with this same art team). Truly I love when panel work from artists includes great uses of white/black space, characters/items breaking the borders of a panel, and panels of a variety of shapes and styles. It just adds a great visual flair and energy to everything, and even helps the eyes to move across the page in intriguing ways. 

Some really great coloring work as usual as we get some good pops of color but the overall palate remains somewhat toned down almost Earthy in quality mixed with plenty of really deep and strong shadows. Inside the buildings, especially the monastery’s lower levels, feel authentic because they are cold and full of dark shadows that mute the colors of the characters involved just as happens in the reality of darker spaces. We get a couple of panels of the tied-up Tax Collector in the corner, and the shadows are so perfectly thick around him partly obscuring the character it’s so great because it’s real and adds some unique visuals. 

On the other side, the colors over on Earth That Was start to take on a much brighter tone cause of all the windows of the church, as well as the lush colors of the world once the father & son duo get a chance to take in the scenery. It allows for some richer tons to take over and for the highlights to pop more with shadows retreating for the time being. Even with the same style and overall tone of the colors, minor differences here make both worlds feel like two completely different places, just as they should. 

Cannot forget to mention that as the action unfolds near the end, it’s so smooth and moves with a purpose and elegance. Easy to follow with kinetic energy, with some pretty awesome choreography of sorts when it comes to how everyone moves and where the action ends up taking them and us. 

As noted this is an issue with a lot of conversations and plot movement, and Jim Campbell makes sure it reads well and brings the right energy to every word that hits the pages. Capturing volume and tone is always key for these stories because we can’t actually hear the characters with our ears, but when executed correctly we can most definitely hear them when reading. Campbell makes the work by using all caps as a standard volume of conversation with sentence case (along with faded and slightly smaller font size) becoming the default for whispers and then even bigger all caps for yelling/exclamation. It works because it allows us to visually detect what sort of emotion or level the words are at as we hear these voices in our heads. 

Some speech bubble changes like adding a colored border or getting jagged for yelling, and other little things, again let us hear things properly but also just break things up in a visually pleasing way. Also, I always love the good in-your-face right there part of the action colorful SFX. 

All-New Firefly #10 is now available from BOOM! Studios. 

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