A quick recap of “New Sheriff in the ‘Verse” so far: Mal and Moon are trying to solve a murder mystery. Zoe, Wash, Book, River, and Simon have been burying dead Browncoats, casualties of the Second Unification War. Meanwhile, Kaylee and Jayne have joined the Chang-Benitez Gang. On the hunt for the killer, Mal and Moon encounter someone who seems to have no qualms about committing mass murder in order to get to Mal.
Chapter 3 of “New Sheriff in the ‘Verse” literally takes us “Into the Fire,” with Mal on the serious hunt for the killer. Things get explosive and Mal emerges as a hero, but the killer remains a step ahead with some serious tech assist. The major cliffhanger is bound to get the crew feeling all sorts of vengeful…
The third arc of BOOM!’s Firefly series has been a bit of a change of pace. After two arcs which have been pretty action packed, Greg Pak’s script for this arc reads a bit slower. That is not to say that there’s a dull moment here, just that this arc feels like a bit of a reprieve from the all-out war and mayhem of the first two. It just feels… right? Pak’s Firefly has been the second season we never got from the show, and breaking the team up to allow each faction to grow individually before coming back as a stronger team is a pretty standard sophomore season move. Where Pak surpasses expectations is in crafting stories that feel unexpected, despite the commonplace tropes. The Mal/Inara moments are particularly nice, although I wonder how all of this will fit into the known Firefly/Serenity lore that we’ve already seen. The Serenity crew has always dealt in the morally gray area, and I think the fact that we root for these vagabonds is a testament to why #StoriesMatter. In their miscreant attempts at survival in a world that’s wholly stacked against them, we recognize their tenacity and just how unfairly the odds are stacked against the have-nots in our society. That should resonate with us, probably even more so in today’s political climate.
Lalit Kumar Sharma’s artwork genuinely works in this arc. Sharma’s linework has a sense of unpolished grit that really elevates the narrative here; it feels really raw but, ironically, has such a sense of sophistication about it. Sharma’s artwork is delightfully enhanced by Francesco Segala’s colors which really set the tone and atmosphere of Aphrodite and the other locales. Given that the arc is really sinking its heels into the whole Western genre here, there’s a dustiness to the proceedings. Jim Campbell’s lettering continue to set the bar for readability which cannot be understated.
Overall, things are really heating up on all fronts for Mal. With romance and survival at stake, it seems the good Captain Sheriff has his hands full.
Creative Team: Greg Pak (writer), Lalit Kumar Sharma (art), Francesco Segala (colors), Jim Campbell (letterer)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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