Comic Book Review: Firefly #4


Big twist! Well, not entirely. One of the things you always love about Firefly is that for the most part every new job is like the one before. These guys need money, they take the job that they think will get them money quick and fast, only to find out that there is trouble in what they do not understand about the job fully. The madness started with the introduction of the Unifactors, but jumped into finding out exactly what it is that these Pilgrims worship.

From the start of this issue the story changed direction in a big way. To go from fighting the Unifactors off to requesting their aid to stop the Pilgrims from sacrificing the crew of Serenity to their blood god? Certainly not the way you pictured this job going when it first began. This was the kind of chaos that makes you comfortable with this creative team tackling the series. At first I thought that there wouldn’t be anything too special about this new series, but it captures everything familiar about Firefly. This story so far has played out like any other episode would have. There was only the added bonus of being able to throw in two obstacles for the crew to overcome at the same time. One of the perks of scripting a story through a book instead of a show.

With that said, let’s get back to the change in direction, because that is what has made this first arc exciting so far. Just when you think you know where this story is headed, boom, there’s a new obstacle for this crew to overcome if they want to make it out of this in one piece. You know they will, and you know that this will ultimately lead to a rescue, but what grabs your attention most is everything up to that point. What impressed me was how they worked around Wash, Shepard, Jayne, and Inara getting out of their predicament. There was any number of ways that this could have gone right or wrong, and they found the most clever way to keep themselves afloat. A lot of the time we are led to expect it’s the other heavy hitters who will save the day, but in doing so you could also forget that they are all very good at what they do in their own right.

I still find it funny as well that you can better tell when this story takes place in their timeline by the role that River plays on the crew. There’s three stages to this character. The first is the lost girl, the second is the conveniently useful one, and the third is when she is finally awakened and sane. Right now we would be at the second stage because there’s not a full awakening of what she is capable of, but she is just the right person to get this crew out of a pinch when you don’t even know you need her.

Another solid issue for the art team. It’s hard to say that anything visually stood out, but the consistency in quality was something to be admired. For this chapter of the story arc, there was a lot of things going on and not once did I feel like they pulled back in effort to complete each scene. What grabbed my attention most was the work put into the character moments. Particularly when it came to Wash’s side of things because of the game they set in motion to save themselves. It involved being able to think on the spot and that takes a strong range of expressions to pull off. There was only a few scenes I will say I had to look over twice because the transition was just a bit off. If you have to ask yourself where someone got shot from or what happened between here and there, you might need to add a bit more clarity the next time around.

Firefly #4 overall was a strong representation of what makes this story and crew stand the test of time. The jobs tend to have a chaotic formula to them, but that is what you get when you hop aboard the Serenity. You expect the unexpected, and prepare yourself for everything that will go wrong before the job is done.

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