When I learned that the new Firefly comic from BOOM! Studios, titled Brand New ‘Verse, was set twenty years after the events of the television show (and, therefore, the most recent comic series, as well), I was a bit apprehensive. The fact is, I read the Firefly comics because I’m one of those people who wish that there had been more seasons of the show, but I’ve accepted that reading the comics is the only way that I’ll get more adventures of Captain Mal and company. So, when a comic is set twenty years in the future from everything that I know and love about the franchise, I’m a bit uneasy.
However, since the most recent run of the Firefly comic had just ended, my subscription at my local comic book store automatically rolled over to this new run. So, since it was already in my box, and the cover art by Qistina Khalidah actually looked really intriguing, I decided to give it a read anyway.
And, I have to admit, I’m glad that I did.
The comic, written by Josh Lee Gordon with art by Fabiana Mascolo, opens to a very futuristic scene that would make any sci-fi movie proud. Men and women dressed in skintight black suits are boarding cryo-chambers aboard a giant spaceship, preparing to set out from the Earth to explore the ‘verse. Everything is sleek, sterile, and high-tech. It seems that the ‘verse has gotten quite an upgrade in the twenty years that have passed since the last Firefly comic.
Except, as we discover a few pages later, we’re not looking at the future at all. Instead, we’re seeing inside of a sim that main character Emma Washburne, twenty-something-year-old daughter of familiar characters Zoe and Wash, is playing with her friend and shipmate, Lu Bao. Until, in typical Firefly fashion, Emma and Lu are pulled out of the virtual world by the very real sound of their ship’s engine threatening to melt.
When Emma makes a mad dash to the cockpit, and Lu hurries to the engine room, we learn that the ship they are on is none other than the familiar Firefly class transport ship Serenity, currently piloted by Captain Zoe Washburn. The captain is not happy that her daughter forgot to tell Lu to fix the Serenity’s coolant system before the engine started going into a full-scale meltdown, and Zoe doesn’t hesitate to let Emma know that she’s displeased. She tells Emma that she needs to spend more time tending to Serenity and less time playing sims if she wants to prove that she’s ready to captain the Serenity herself. Still, once they’re planetside, Zoe sends Emma to sell off the illegal cargo that they’ve been hauling, and Emma proves that she has negotiating skills that would make Malcolm Reynolds himself proud.
(Please excuse this terrible pic that I took w/my phone...)
It may be set twenty years in the future, and the Serenity may be home to a mostly entirely new cast of misfits and outcasts, but Brand New ‘Verse promises to bring the same Firefly attitude and atmosphere that fans have grown to know and love. The original crew have mostly gone their separate ways, but an old friend appearing later on in issue one with intel about what sounds like a simple enough grab-and-go job teases at appearances from more familiar faces. It also means that, twenty years later or not, the crew of the Serenity is still up the same dangerous hijinks that they’ve always been known for and, of course, that nothing can ever go as gorram smoothly as promised.
If you’re a Firefly fan, I recommend picking up issue one, as issue two will be released on April 21st.
Angela “LaLa” Rairden is an avid fan of comic books, Star Wars, and most things nerdy. A cosplayer, she loves to attend comic cons dressed as her favorite fictional characters, particularly Harley Quinn. Although her day job is at a grocery store, writing has always been her true calling. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she is currently writing her first novel.