Firefly: The Outlaw Ma Reynolds was an interesting diversion set in the universe of Firefly, and is full of stunning artwork.


FIREFLY: THE OUTLAW MA REYNOLDS, out this Wednesday January 8th from Boom! Studios pits a son and mother against one another. Given that both are members of the Reynolds family, it’s safe to say that things are going to get explosive.

Ma Reynolds does not look like a woman to mess with on this cover of Firefly: The Outlaw Ma Reynolds.


Joss Whedon’s world lives on through the Firefly comics. It’s hard to believe that the series has continued on for so long, yet there is many a fan out there who will never complain about that fact. Especially given the short life of the TV series.

Firefly: The Outlaw Ma Reynolds may be a one-off issue, but it is one that ties directly into the core plot of the recent Firefly run. Thus, if you haven’t yet picked up the series, we’d suggest holding off on reading this one.

This issue immediately follows the events of Firefly #12. In Firefly #12, Malcolm Reynolds managed to bring an end to a new war that was about to erupt. Well, new in a relative sense. For this war is an old war; the battle between the Browncoats and the Alliance.

The Plot

Firefly: The Outlaw Ma Reynolds is a different and interesting sort of issue. If you’ve been following along with the series, this is not the first time that you’ve seen Ma Reynolds. But it might be the first time you’ve seen how she raised Mal.

It actually answers a lot of questions about Mal, come to think of it. He didn’t have a warm and happy upbringing – hints throughout the series and novels already told us that much. But the depth of that lacking wasn’t clear until now.

In essence, this issue pitted Mal up against his own mother. It was sort of comical in a way, what with the Alliance somehow getting Mal to work for them (long story). But it was also strange and surreal. It’s hard to picture this series of events taking place during the live-action run, but then again, things change.

Greg Pak managed to bring us a completely unexpected plot here. It’s safe to say that most fans would never have expected to see Mal working for the opposition, regardless of the reason for doing it. The conclusion was another surprising twist – one that may have made fans stop and stare at the pages. Or maybe not.

This black and white cover of Firefly: The Outlaw Ma Reynolds really forces you to notice the expression of each character, doesn’t it?

The Art

Firefly: The Outlaw Ma Reynolds is a brilliant example of artwork. It’s dynamic and fun to look at, and for a variety of reasons. While it doesn’t look exactly like the original show or movie, that isn’t a bad thing. The artists felt comfortable enough to run with their own styles here, and it worked out for the best.

This issue featured several talented artists working alongside one another. Davide Gianfelice and George Kambadais were the lead artists on this project. Their decision making behind the expressions of our characters was the highlight here, particularly in regards to showing the blatant conflict on Mal’s face.

Meanwhile, Joana LaFuente took charge of the colors. And those colors! There is so much to love about the color palette chosen here. It has a Western feel, which is appropriate, of course. But it also blends in several other elements. The end result is something truly magnificent.

Finally, Jim Campbell was the letterer for this issue. And you can see that he had a bit of fun with his work here. It combined nicely with the rest of the elements of this issue.

Here’s a rare sneak peek into Mal’s past.

In Conclusion

Firefly: The Outlaw Ma Reynolds was a unique reading experience. In some ways, it was a very heavy story, yet in other ways, it felt light and comical. It was an interesting balance to support a surprising tale.

Cat Wyatt
Cat Wyatt
Cat Wyatt is an avid comic book fan. She loves comics - possibly too much, and will happily talk your ear off about everything she's reading. Though picking a favorite is a bit harder. She reads a little bit of everything and is always open to trying a new series.
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