Several months ago, we let you know that Firefly Online was going to be A Thing. (The fact that I can’t find that post says something about my inability to tag my posts.)
Today at SDCC, we just got the news that the entire cast will reunite for the game, Alan Tudyk will be providing several roles, and Niska, one of the most terrifying of Mal’s personal nemeses, will also be returning. More details can be found at the Firefly Online website.
It’s New Comic Book Day, and Dark Horse seems to release everything at once, so naturally, all our reviews come out at once. Today, the last installment of Serenity: Leaves on the Wind releases and keeping things spoiler-free, here’s what I have to say:
Aw, comic, no.
I’m not going into the substandard art again, but if there’s been one thing I have enjoyed about this series, it’s been the writing–until now. And I understand that this comic is setting up for whatever the next Serenity comic mini-series is going to be, but the end of this comic very, very quickly took a turn for both 1) a (second) rehash of an old plotline and 2) a WTF spin on the level of Buffy Season Eight.
If you’ve bought the other five comics in the mini-series, buy this one to complete the set. But if the next mini-series continues off this arc, rather than telling stories like The Shepherd’s Tale or Better Days, I’d be just a little bit wary of investing money in it.
Action! Action action action action action! For all the set-up in Serenity #4, Serenity #5 is all action, and yes, you will need to go back and read the previous issue to catch up and understand exactly what is happening in this issue, because there is so much action switching between enough perspectives that it takes a read or two to figure things out.
Basically, though, this is where the excrement meets the cooling machinery. The crew (plus the Operative) has gone to rescue the other River-like girls, only to discover that they’ve been completely brainwashed, leaving River to fight them. And everything goes nuts here, until the end, when there’s a horrible realization that what’s left of the Browncoat resistance are those left on Serenity–because the Alliance has used all of this as a trap.
But Malcolm Reynolds has one thing he has left to do–and that’s to save Zoe. And he’s going to do whatever it takes.
Art – cue my normal complaints and my normal WOW about the cover. Writing – not up to its usual standards here, but that’s because this is action action OMG all the action. Still, comic writers are responsible, in part, for laying out the pages and the panels and what’s happening in them, and this was the first time I really wasn’t all that impressed. Still, overall, it’s a good story, and I’m not sure how all the ends are going to get tied up in one issue next month.
It’s that time again – Serenity #4 is out today, and the continuing tribulations of our heroes get ever worse.
My complaints about the art continue–I won’t repeat them again.
As far as the writing goes, this is not as good as previous issues–it’s transitional–our characters are having to get from here to there, and that’s understandable. It’s not particularly engaging, though there are certainly a couple of moments that will make you flip back a page to make sure that you did just see what you saw.
That said–I’m almost certain that you’re going to need this issue to get the next one. This one has left readers on one hell of a cliff-hanger–a couple, actually–so even if this one issue isn’t as fantastic as the others, you’re going to want to pick it up anyway.
I feel like I’m starting to become a broken record. Great writing, beautiful cover….really, really crappy art.
Let me go back a second. I think Georges Jeanty can produce nice art–and anyone who opens this comic and takes a look at the last page will see what I mean. But I’m remembering what Christina Strain (who colored Spiderman loves Mary Jane) told me once–in comic books, you have to be at least two out of three: you have to be nice, you have to be good, and you have to be fast. My guess is that Jeanty is a really nice person and he’s really fast–if you want him to be really good, he has to slow down. Like I said, the last page is very well done, but the rest? Not so much.
There are a couple of surprises in the writing here. It’s less so with the plot–it’s a bit predictable. Zoe’s been captured, and River’s been delving into her own brain for more Alliance secrets that might help them out. The predictability isn’t what River finds, but where Mal turns for help.
One point in this comic really surprised me, though. Readers of issue #2 know that Jubal Early had found his way back to the ship. But Kaylee’s method of dealing with Early took me aback a bit. We all know that Miranda changed everyone on the entire crew, but for some reason, I think, I always believed that Kaylee’s innocence remained essentially intact. To see Kaylee take a turn toward the cynical and bitter shows, better than anything else, just how serious matters are, and it’s enough to leave Firefly fans more than just a little apprehensive about where the story’s going to go next.
And where Joss Whedon and Firefly is concerned, forget your ideas of what fandom can and cannot change and rejoice because they can’t stop the signal.
Dark Horse Comics just announced that their new comic series will pick up where the 2005 movie Serenity left off, with River Tam sitting in the co-pilot’s seat, and Zoe Washburn struggling to adjust to the death of her husband and the realization that she’ll be raising their soon-to-be-born child alone.
Buffy Season 8 artist George Jeanty has been announced as the artist, while the writer and the launch date are still up in the air.
I think this is just shiny.
It made the rounds this week that Fox started sending cease and desist orders to Etsy sellers who were producing their own version of the iconic ‘Jayne hat’ from Joss Whedon’s cult TV show Firefly. Both Ripple Junction, who now owns the license to make the hats and ThinkGeek, who sells them, denied any involvement in sending the C&D orders. ThinkGeek posted a blog entry attesting to as much.
While there’s not much that can be done for intrepid Firefly fans who want to sell their own versions of Jayne’s hat, ThinkGeek just announced that they have heard the outcry from fans and therefore will donate all proceeds from the sale of the official Jayne hat on sale at their website to Can’t Stop the Serenity, an organization that hosts charity screenings of Serenity in order to help support Equality Now, a worldwide charity that works to further the cause of human rights and end violence and discrimination against women around the world.
Four for you, ThinkGeek. You go, ThinkGeek.
Can’t make it to the Firefly Reunion panel at SDCC? That’s okay–the Science channel will be airing a special so we can all enjoy on Sunday, November 11th. It’s hard to believe that it’s been ten years since we first went into the black, but Browncoats Unite will be the capstone to the Science Channel’s 10-year anniversary celebration of this Joss Whedon classic.