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‘Firefly #36:’ Advance Comic Book Review

This issue marks the end of Greg Pak’s 3-year tenure on this series, and it feels like a fitting farewell. Befitting a denouement after all the tumultuous events that the crew has gone for, the tension in this issue largely lies in the possible choices of certain crew members, being faced with the possibility of a relatively safe and secure future on the Earth That Was, or one with more of the same shenanigans for the foreseeable future on the Serenity.

Pak’s effort on the series has been admirable, in my humble opinion. He’s introduced memorable new characters (Boss Moon, for sure!), expanded the ‘Verse and given us a better understanding of the scope of which Blue Moon runs it, given Mal a tragic hero’s journey of sorts, and brought some of the characters light years ahead of where they had stagnated before his run. Because of its short run, I always felt like Firefly never had a chance to really progress its agenda and characters. Much of what came after the series and its film sequel kind of felt like spinning their wheels, and there was always that anticipation for something major to happen, for that other work boot to drop. Pak grew these characters at first, and then gave us that growth. The characters changed, and, for some, probably not for the better, but they moved on instead of being stuck in some kind of Season 1.5 limbo that they had been in for the greater part of a decade or so. On top of that, he left room for other teams to come in occasionally to flesh out some of these characters in ways that wouldn’t have worked in the main story.

As for this issue itself, it says farewell to some plot points, moves the characters towards the future, and sets itself up for the new upcoming series, while also making sure to take the “Brand New ‘Verse” story into consideration. Astronomers look to the sky to understand our far-flung past, and maybe to better understand our present and, hopefully, get a better grasp of our cosmic future. I feel like the crew of the Serenity understand that better than most: You can’t take the sky from them, because their stories lie ahead, uncharted, unfettered, and most absolutely, without limits. #StoriesMatter.

Simona di Gianfelicé closes out the issue in style, with their elegant linework given more expression and depth with Francesco Segala and Gloria Matinelli’s colors. The nostalgic warmth of Earth That Was is so adeptly contrasted with the coldness of space, and yet, with this crew, one can’t help but feel that the familial warmth comes from within anyway. Jim Campbell’s lettering gives us the warm fuzzies with his choice of colors for the narration boxes, and while there is a certain je ne sais quoi about his lettering choices and how they just lend themselves to a fluid character moment, I find myself particularly charmed by his squirrel-talk.

Ultimately, this feels like a great closer to a story that took about 3 years to fully tell. I’m excited to see what’s next for this crew, but I’ll look back on this last “season” with fondness and awe.

Creative Team: Greg Pak (writer), Simona di Gianfelice (art), Francesco Segala, Gloria Martinelli (colorist), Jim Campbell (letterer)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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