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Firefly Original Graphic Novel: The Sting by Delilah S. Dawson

Firefly Original Graphic Novel: The Sting by Delilah S. Dawson
4.5
Book Name: Firefly Original Graphic Novel: The Sting
Author: Delilah S. Dawson / Colorist Wesllei Manoel / Illustrated by Pius Bak
Publisher(s): BOOM! Studios
Formatt: Hardcover
Genre(s): Science Fiction / Graphic Novel
Release Date: November 19, 2019

If you don’t know anything about me, one thing you should know is that I am a big damn Firefly fan. I just got a Firefly cookbook for my birthday—which you KNOW I’ll be putting out a review once I try Book’s chicken noodle soup and Jayne’s mudder’s milk—and two action figurines—hello, Wash and Zoe, wanna join Jayne on my shelf?—and my family didn’t even coordinate. They just know I like Firefly!

So, when I spotted Firefly Sting on Midtown Comic’s shelf in New York City, I just had to pick it up. (Okay, to be honest, I handed it to my dad to get it for me for Christmas, because I’m cool like that. In their eyes: One gift, done!) Published by BOOM! Studios in November 2019, Firefly Sting was created by Joss Whedon, written by Delilah Dawson, and illustrated by a slew of talented people, including Pius Bak, Serg Acuna, and Richard Ortiz.

In case you haven’t heard about this newest installment, here’s the blurb:

Saffron unites the women of the Serenity crew to join her on a heist in this all-new original Firefly graphic novel. Saffron—the enigmatic rogue who captured the hearts of Firefly fans worldwide, as well as the heart of Capt. Malcolm Reynolds—returns to the Serenity. But this time, she’s got no time for Mal, as she’s there to recruit the women of the ship to join her on a heist that has personal stakes for all involved.

After I acted properly “surprised” on Christmas morning, I read this graphic novel in one sitting. It’s a quick but immersive read, which is lovely when there’s a limited time for lunch at work and you need a break from all the things. From the first color-splashed page I was right in the Firefly universe once again, enjoying the company of Serenity’s motley crew. That was the first thing that actually caught me in reading this graphic novel, how immersive and true-to-form it felt to the original Firefly show and source material.

The focus was on the ladies in the crew—Inara, Kaylee, River, and Zoe—in a fascinating deep dive of their personalities and traits we didn’t quite get to fully experience in the original show. With one notable exception I’ll get to later on, the character motivations fit perfectly and stayed true-to-character. The voices were also true-to-character, even the men, so it made the transition from TV to graphic novel that much more seamless.

I love a good heist, and Saffron promised an interesting one, basically conning the ladies into helping her. (Which, of course Saffron would do; she’s an amazing secondary character from Firefly and I’m glad we got this storyline from her.) The story and plot are solid, fast-paced, and fun, and there are some quirky nods to the original series, too, which made the browncoat in me grin.

The illustrations and coloring were stunning. I particularly enjoyed how the designers worked around the internal narration. Each character had a different color for their thoughts, which made it super easy to follow even on the action-packed pages.

For all my gushing, though, my read wasn’t a completely shiny experience. In fact, I was taken off guard reading about our married pair in the crew—Zoe and Wash—and their tense conversation about having a child. Their back-and-forth filtered through the entire graphic novel and was Zoe’s moment of clarity in the story. I’m really trying to avoid spoilers in this review, so I’ll just say, anyone who watched the original Firefly series knows that in the episode titled Heart of Gold, Zoe and Wash had a talk about having babies, too, and this Firefly Sting conversation is wildly different than that one. I do applaud Dawson for adding another dimension to their characters, though, and perhaps it was how Whedon wanted to portray it in the original series but just didn’t have time. For me, it was a little jarring. That said, however, the character dynamic between those two certainly didn’t sully the experience.

I’d happily blast off with this motley crew again. Any browncoat would be thrilled with this new addition to their beloved universe, so, in honor of the heist leader Saffron, I’d give it a nine out of ten Goodnight Kisses.

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  1. […] Fantasy Faction last year so I’ve been doing monthly posts for them, the most recent one: Feb 2019 about the new Firefly comic.(I’ve submitted others since then but they have a bit of a […]

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