FIREFLY #18, available now from BOOM! Studios, brings the tale of Sheriff Malcolm Reynolds ever closer to it’s inevitable conclusion. While their journey has taken unexpected twists, there’s no denying that this is the crew that fans have fallen in love with.
The infamous outlaw himself has become a sheriff, though everyone in the ‘verse should know that this is not a title he’s going to hold for long. After all, Malcolm Reynolds has always been one for pushing his luck.
Firefly #18 brings fans back to this strange journey, one that takes beloved characters and puts them on a journey like no other. It’s sometimes strange, picturing them on these adventures that are so different from the original series.
While it has been interesting seeing this new side of things, it’s hard not to hope for a rare sighting of the rest of the crew. Mal has taken center stage, with the occasional appearance from Kaylee, Jayne, and Inara.
That leaves fans wondering: What is the rest of the crew up to? Where are the siblings (River and Simon), where are Walsh and Zoe, and where’s Shepherd Book? These characters have rounded out the team on more than one occasion, and their loss is keenly felt.
Firefly #18 is an issue that has its ups and downs. Written by Greg Pak, this is another issue that focuses mainly on two groups of characters: Mal & Inara, and Kaylee & Jayne — plus the new characters in both groups.
There were moments when this issue really did feel like it was going back to the roots of Firefly. Kaylee and Jayne haggling for no reason other than the fun of it. A dangerous (and poorly planned) heist in the works. The usual.
Then there are parts that once again showcase all of the changes, i.e. the lack of beloved characters, Mal’s new position, and the people he’s constantly coming across. It’s all so new and different. But different isn’t bad. In fact, we might be nearing a point where change is needed. Perhaps it’s time to bring the Serenity crew back together again?
Admittedly, that doesn’t seem likely. There are more and more figures getting added to the roster, and naturally, they all have their own goals. In general, that usually means that the crew is gaining yet another problem to deal with.
The artwork is absolutely one of the highlights of this series, and Firefly #18 is no exception. The art is bold and unafraid to get a little experimental at times, while still having that feeling that the original always carried with it. Sort of Space meets Western.
Lalit Kumar Sharma was the lead artist for this issue. He’s the one behind that tone described above. The lines are rougher, with a textural look and feel even to the simpler backdrops. It’s evocative and quite effective for this series in particular. Especially when flames are involved (which tends to happen quite a lot, with their heists).
Francesco Segala was the colorist, and overall the colors are muted and darker, yet that also works quite nicely with the series. It may seem counter to the level of tech in the world, but it’s still a strong fit to the core of the plot.
Jim Campbell is the mind behind the lettering for this issue, and that’s another highlight worth talking about. His lettering is perfection, being so carefully placed. There are some beautiful scenes in this issue, and they are complemented with the balloon placement here.
Firefly #18 is another interesting issue, though admittedly one that continues to raise questions about the crew. What seemed like a temporary change has gone on much longer than expected, and while some characters are still having fun, others haven’t been seen in some time. Will our beloved crew ever get back together again?