Fighting the Alliance and its operatives has never been a pleasant or easy task for Mal Reynolds, but then again, Mal has never been one to turn away from a challenge because it won’t be easy or pleasant. The captain of the Serenity and its crew continue this behavioral trend in this month’s Serenity: No Power in the ‘Verse #5, written by Chris Roberson and featuring the art of Georges Jeanty. While Mal and his crew make a move to reacquire the abducted members of their group, the captain goes toe to toe with another Alliance operative, determined to defend his family to end.
Serenity: No Power in the ‘Verse #5 picks up with Mal and company working in a coordinated effort with Mericourt and The Peacemakers to rescue River and Iris from Kalista, operative of the Alliance, and the other “enhanced” girls under her command. While negotiations are attempted, it isn’t long before Mal’s getting punched in the face (as is his style) and everything goes to Hell.
While Roberson’s script for this issue has a decent amount of action and fisticuffs, it also touches on a number of intriguing concepts as we follow the Serenity’s crew’s attempt to make their team whole once more. While most fans surely always assumed the Alliance maintained some form of control over River and the other “enhanced” girls the organization experimented on, this issue reveals that, through behavioral conditioning, they’ve created trigger phrases that “shut down” part of one’s frontal lobe and literally allow the Alliance to take the “enhanced” individual’s agency away. It’s a chilling concept that’s reminiscent of Joss Whedon’s origin for the slayers in his Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series. It seems that whether on Earth or in space, the patriarchy fears power in female hands and seeks to control it.
Meanwhile, Mal ends up going head to head with an Alliance operative that once made the assassin portrayed by Chiwetel Ejiofor consider seppuku rather than face her, but not before offering to give Kalista “the real Peacemakers on a platter” in exchange for River and Iris. While this isn’t shocking behavior for someone who always puts the safety of his crew first and foremost, it did leave this readers wondering if Mal’s potential betrayal of The Peacemakers was a morally questionable action. Sure, The Peacemakers are violent terrorists and Mal doesn’t truck with their methods, but do they deserve to be delivered into the hands of an oppressive force that Darth Vader might look upon with admiration and approval? Won’t they end up being horrible tortured or executed in some sort of space-Gitmo, and is that a justifiable fate to leave our enemies to? Maybe I’m just shocked to see Mal suggest handing anyone over to the Alliance, no matter their transgressions.
Georges Jeanty continues to be an absolute blessing for No Power in the ‘Verse, providing the bold, cinematic visuals he’s know for. Jeanty’s character depictions are soulful and genuine, while his action scenes bristle with kinetic energy. In addition, cover artist Dan Dos Santos gifts Serenity fans with another truly breathtaking image for the series, this one featuring Kalista, River, Iris, and the other “enhanced” girls.
FINAL VERDICT: There nothing in the ‘Verse that should stop Serenity: No Power in the ‘Verse #5 from finding a place in your buy pile. It’s a solid story that fits well within the canon and features some truly gorgeous art that will surely be appreciated by any Serenity fan out there.
For more info on the series, stop by the official Dark Horse Comics website.
That’s all for now, comic book sniffers.
’Till the end of the world,
Bryant the Comic Book Slayer