It’s been several months since Malcolm Reynolds and the crew of his ship, Serenity, broadcast the signal that reopened the wounds of The Unification War. The revelation that The Alliance – the governing body that rules most of the solar system – was directly responsible for the creation of the monsters known as Reavers inspired a whole new generation of idealistic young people to rise up in imitation of the original Browncoat revolt. For a time Reynolds found himself sought out by both groups, with The Alliance wanting his head on a silver platter and the new Browncoats wanting him as their leader.
But Mal cared little about revolutions. All he cared about was taking care of him and his own. But things never run smooth for Captain Mal and his first mate Zoe soon ran into complications with her pregnancy that required her going to an Alliance hospital and – after they realized who she was – an Alliance prison. A series of desperate deals with old enemies turned ally and Mal reluctantly taking command of a neophyte Browncoat army has lead to this moment – a jail break on the hidden prison planet where Zoe is held captive.
Those Firefly fans who have come this far in reading the mini-series will find this issue to be a satisfying conclusion. Zack Whedon does a fine job of capturing his brother Joss’ style in terms of dialogue and story. Most of the supporting cast is given a chance to shine and show their worth this time around though – sadly – Inara is still stuck on the sidelines with little to do but look concerned while other characters go about fighting, fixing engines or patching wounds. And while most of the subplots awakened in this storyline are resolved, enough on-going plot points are left open to allow ample room for the further adventures of the Serenity crew in future comics.
Hopefully, those comics will be illustrated by an artist other than Georges Jeanty. Jeanty is capable of caricaturing the established cast in individual panels but there is little consistency in the characters’ appearance from panel to panel. A larger problem is that Jeanty’s pencils become indistinct when he is required to draw anything other than close-ups of people talking. This renders the issue’s action sequences difficult to look at and only Karl Story’s inks keep one body from melding into another. Even then, more detail could have been added than the basic black outline around the characters that seems to be the only enhancement some pages received.
This series won’t win any converts to the Browncoat cause. At least, not as easily as a marathon of the Firefly DVD set. But devout fans will be able to tough out the sloppy artwork for the sake of a ripping good yarn of a story.