FIREFLY #19, available now from Boom! Studios continues the story of Sheriff Malcolm Reynolds. Once the captain of Serenity, now the Sheriff of a small moon in desperate need of help. It’s not a position fans ever expected to see this character in, that’s for sure.
Once upon a time, Malcolm Reynolds ran a crew, all as loyal as can be. Well, they were mostly loyal. Now that crew has been spread throughout the stars, and Mal has taken up a new job in life. It’s perhaps the least likely job ever for this particular character.
He’s now the sheriff of a moon, and he’s doing his best to resist those higher up in the food chain, though this time he’s doing it from the inside. Is this where the series would have eventually ended up, had Firefly never been canceled? It’s hard to know.
It’s obvious that the series has taken a stronger focus onto Malcolm Reynolds. It felt like a temporary move at first, but with each issue, that sensation seems to be drifting away. All while leaving fans missing their favorite (and noticeably absent) characters.
Where are Walsh, Zoe, Shepherd Book, River, and Simon? While the series has told fans were Kaylee, Jayne, and Inara are, the rest of the crew seem to have disappeared from the universe altogether. It’s quite a depressing thought.
Firefly #19 is one of those issues that will leave fans scratching their heads. Just what exactly is Mal up to? Are we still seeing the symptoms of a longer game, or has our favorite captain finally lost his way?
Greg Pak is still at the helm of this project, providing a look at what must be an alternative version of the world and characters we’ve come to love. Set after the events of Serenity, many changes have been formed here are there.
At first, it was tempting to try and guess how this plot would wrap back around upon itself, how it would bring the crew back together and make them stronger than ever. That temptation has decreased over the last few issues.
There’s still this sense of lingering curiosity, but the hope is dwindling. It’s hard not to miss beloved characters, especially after all this time (and all of the changes they’ve faced).
On the bright side, this series hasn’t been afraid to take risks. There have been plenty of those, especially in terms of character development. This has forced fans to take a step back from their assumptions and expectations, and simply enjoy the show.
One of the biggest highlights of Firefly #19 is, without a doubt, the artwork found within its pages. The series has taken on a heavily stylized look, but it’s something that suits the aesthetic of the world quite nicely.
Lalit Kumar Sharma is the leading artist for this issue. He’s the one responsible for all the character designs – both for new characters and for the changes made to old characters. All while providing a rough universe for them to reside in. Throw in more than one action sequence, and this issue has a visually compelling base to work with.
Francesco Segala provided the colors, taking Sharma’s work to a whole new level. It truly does read as a Western set in space, with the colors of both genres merging in unique (but pleasing) ways. The starry backdrops are a treasure and make the series worth checking out.
Jim Campbell is the artist responsible for the lettering, and as always, he did a brilliant job here. Carefully placed letters lead from one panel to the next, telling their own story along the way.
Firefly #19 may be carrying on in a world many have come to love, yet it also feels so different from that original series. It has truly evolved with time, turning into something unique to the comic book industry.