Firefly #28 Review

by Nick Devonald on April 28, 2021

Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: Simona Di Gianfelice
Colours: Francesco Segala
Letters: Jim Campbell

This latest story-arc has found writer Greg Pak focused on getting the band back together again after splitting them up. Again. They have been separated for a while now, with a real emphasis on Mal as the lead character, then during the Blue Sun event Pak got the crew back together again, before jumping forward in time and splitting them up. Then over the course of the last few issues we’ve been reintroduced to our characters, their new settings, and a new Wash, before they’re brought back together in what is supposed to be a touching moment centred around family in this issue. Only it doesn’t work.

Conflict between the characters is integral for a good story, and the TV series thrived on it, but it feels forced here. It's quite clear that Pak is aiming to hit certain emotional beats, moments like this where the gang get back together, in skilled hands would be really effective. But even the most diehard fans must be questioning why they even care at this stage. Compare Boom’s take on Firefly to the Dark Horse comic, or the TV series, and it falls way short of the mark. The spin off, Brand New Verse, is filled with plenty of potential but also lets readers know that our crew will be separated YET AGAIN by the time readers get caught up to that series.

Firefly is at its best when it realises it doesn’t follow a single lead character, a mistake that Pak has made regularly by making Mal the focus for his stories. Rather it’s a story about the entire crew. Yes we want conflict between them, how often has Jayne been at odds with any single member of the crew? The conflict between the crew is core to the series, watching them at odds with each other but managing to struggle through makes for fantastic storytelling. But we want our heroes to be together, muddling through, a team. And that’s been sorely and regularly lacking.

What’s frustrating about this is the set-up for the rest of the story-arc is an intriguing one. There is a cliff-hanger ending to this issue which has plenty of promise for what lies ahead for the series, an area briefly touched upon in Serenity but otherwise largely left alone. Those few diehard fans who’ve managed to hang on this long will no doubt find themselves intrigued in what happens next, but unfortunately it may be too little too late.

Simona Di Gianfelice does a good job of bringing the TV series to life, characters are instantly recognisable, and she brings the ‘Verse to life beautifully. The bridge and halls of Serenity are faithfully replicated and as the crew traverse the ship it feels like seeing an old friend again. There is an emphasis on the sci-fi elements in this issue and they look excellent and coupled with Francesco Segala’s colours the comic looks really good.

Good art isn’t enough to save the comic from the subpar writing which has plagued it for a while now. The crew being split apart, before reuniting, feels old and stale now, and the emotional beats that the comic aims to hit fall short because only the most diehard of fans will still be clinging on at this stage.

Our Score:


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