Firefly #26 Review

by Nick Devonald on February 23, 2021

Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: Pius Bak
Colours: Marcelo Costa
Letters: Jim Campbell


The last issue of Firefly jumped us forward in time, further than comics or the TV series have explored yet. The crew is fragmented, divided, and of Mal there is no sign. While we’re still waiting to learn exactly how our crew have ended up like this it’s going to take something huge to bring them all back again. Enter Wash at the end of the last issue. As cliff-hangers go it was a hell of a shock and designed to elicit a real reaction from fans.

Most of the issue revolves around how he has returned from the dead, whether it’s truly Wash, and why he’s there. Greg Pak makes a brave choice to not spin this mystery out, rather to be quite forthcoming with the answers, so that by the end of the issue readers will have a pretty good idea what is going on with Wash. You won’t find any spoilers here, so if you’re desperate to know how Wash appeared then you’ll need to pick the issue up. Without delving into spoilers Pak’s explanation for Wash’s return makes sense within the larger universe, and even pick up from an earlier storyline he’s written. Unfortunately the Sci-Fi explanation he uses feels a little too much like science fiction for the Firefly universe, in a similiar way that some of his previous stories have.

It’s not clear whether or not 'Wash' will be sticking around for the long term, but by the issues conclusion it certainly looks that way. And that’s where this issue begins to fall down. Wash’s sudden, unexpected death in Serenity was an excellent piece of storytelling. The Dark Horse comics explored life onboard Serenity without Wash. He is dead, and one of the reasons that Firefly works so well is that the universe feels grounded in reality. By falling into the old comic trope of bringing dead characters back to life, in whatever form that looks like, it lessens the impact of Wash’s death and cheapens it. The one thing that Wash’s resurrection has achieved however is an excuse to bring the crew back together, with the promise of answers in the issues ahead. Hopefully Pak will continue to give us answers without spinning the mystery out for too long.

The art from Pius Bak is good, but his characters look young here, rather than older than we’ve ever seen them before. It’s narratively a little jarring, but if you can move past that then he does a great job of capturing the characters emotions. It’s a shame that an element of the storytelling, or perhaps the translation from the screen to comics, has meant that Zoe, normally stoic and emotionless, has her every emotion on display. It isn't true to her character, but it feels in with the changes within Booms take on the Firefly universe.

The comic series from Boom unfortunately doesn’t capture the magic that was great about the TV series, or even the Firefly comic series, despite the bold moves that Greg Pak has made. Jumping forward in time, dividing the crew, resurrecting old comrades, all brave moves. While it’s not a bad comic it’s unfortunately not a great Firefly comic.

Our Score:


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