Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Review - Serenity: No Power in the 'Verse #1 (@DarkHorseComics)


"Not getting paid enough for this fei hua..."

Firefly is one of those properties that developed a cult following because people weren't overexposed to it. Since it went off the air over a decade ago, the series has really lived on in the comics. The latest comic to carry the torch for the series is Serenity: No Power in the 'Verse #1 from Dark Horse Comics. The issue is written by Chris Roberson, penciled by Georges Jeanty, inked by Karl Story, colored by Wes Dzioba and lettered by Michael Heisler.

The ’verse is a complicated and dangerous place, and Malcolm Reynolds and his outlaw crew aboard the Serenity are ever experiencing tough times. When tensions rise among the crew, a call for help becomes a welcome interruption: they must track down a missing friend and the answers to the mystery surrounding her disappearance.

The crew of Firefly are largely like family for many familiar with them and Roberson taps into that sense for Serenity: No Power in the 'Verse #1. In fact, the issue opens up and plays out much like an episode of Firefly as Roberson maneuvers the crew through a small-time heist, the realization that they need something bigger and then helping out someone when no payment is involved at all. It's a pretty sound formula for the franchise and Roberson allows all the characters to play their parts in a way that plays it pretty safe. The dialogue is in-line with those characters as well, but readers looking for more character development are really only given the possibility of some in Jayne who may want to eschew some of lone wolf attitudes.

The storyline may seem fairly recognizable to fans of the property, but Jeanty's art is a little erratic. Many of the characters bear more than a passing resemblance to their on-screen counterparts which promises a continuity between the show and comic. There are some instances where Jeanty's style seems like more of a caricature than anything else--for instance, Kaylee looks odd in some of the panels as her facial expressions seem exaggerated. It's something that seems to be an issue with all the characters, in that Jeanty embellishes them to the point that there's a disconnect between the look of the comic and the show. Story's colors help out a little bit by contrasting the brightness of the characters with the drab tones of the ship.

Serenity: No Power in the 'Verse #1 is definitely for fans of the property. Mal and the crew are embarking on another salvation mission that will most likely lead to bigger stakes later in the series. Roberson knows what readers will want from Serenity: No Power in the 'Verse #1 and doesn't stray too far from that. Jeanty illustrates the characters so that they're easily recognizable, but there are some shortcomings in his approach that make them seem cartoonish. Serenity: No Power in the 'Verse #1 is known territory for fans of the franchise that doesn't stray too far from the Firefly normal.

Serenity: No Power in the 'Verse #1 is in stores October 26.

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