With Zoë and Kaylee’s crew having found Mal, the team seems to be together to pull off this mission… except that Mal isn’t quite on the same page, having lost as much as he has over the years. After a tense exchange, the crew seems to find themselves in a very alien, and yet, familiar environment…
This feels like we’re about midway through the arc, and we end up in a very surprising place, with this being a sci-fi space opera after all. Greg Pak builds up the stakes here while still giving plenty of room for the interpersonal drama to build. While it does feel like Mal’s trepidation doesn’t feel disingenuous, for the first time since he’s written the series, it does feel kind of shoehorned in. That being said, what Mal feels isn’t unheard of at all, and I think that leads naturally into why #StoriesMatter in this instance. At the risk of being a giant cliché, this issue explores what it means to deal with the alien in the familiar and the familiar in the alien at the same time. Ironically, the past seems to also be the future here, and this will be a very interesting direction for our crew.
Simona Di Gianfelice takes over art duties in this issue, and she delivers some awesome moments in here. While her artwork isn’t the strongest with character likenesses, I generally found it really dynamic with great storyteller instincts. Francesco Segala returns on color duties, and his work retains all of the strengths of his previous work on the series, offering vibrant colorwork that really complements the artwork and atmosphere. Last, and definitely not least, Jim Campbell’s lettering is a constant star player in this series, managing dialogue, sound effects, and tonality throughout the issue, as if that’s all no big deal at all. (It is, though!)
Overall, with Mal being back in the mix, things kind of teeter on the brink of getting better or going really south. With Mal’s current disposition, things seems much more up in the air than ever.
Creative Team: Greg Pak (writer), Simona Di Gianfelice (art), Francesco Segala (colors), Jim Campbell (letterer)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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