Writer: Greg Pak
FC, 32pgs, $3.99 US
I was reluctant to try Firefly when it was relaunched at Boom Studios in November 2018. I had read the Serenity series for years (2005 to 2017) at Dark Horse Comics– first as material between the television series and the movie, then Shepard Book’s back-story, and then the adventures of the crew post-movie.
The later, after-the-movie material was the best of the bunch, with stories written by Zach Whedon initially and then Chris Roberson at the end. The writers’ handling of the crew, particularly Zoe, mourning Wash and floating on was an emotional draw for me. So, too, was the realization that there were more surviving “students” of the Alliance Academy, which was responsible for the extraordinary state of River Tam. This idea was just beginning to be explored in Serenity when it was announced the series would move to Boom and that Boom had no plans to continue the ideas presented in the Dark Horse series.
When Boom revealed the Firefly series would tell stories before the Serenity movie, I decided within my own fan mind that, for me, the Dark Horse series could exist in the same story ‘verse as the Boom series as long as Boom did not do something that would cover material already covered by Dark Horse.
So I bought issue #1 when it came out in November 2018. I did so grudgingly; but, damn, that was a fine debut. I’m ten issues in now and thoroughly enjoying every every page.
If you are a Firefly fan and are unfamiliar with the comics that carry on the adventures of the crew, the Dark Horse material is being republished by Boom in what they call Legacy editions. As for the new material under the Boom banner, the first four issues are collected in the Firefly: Unification War hardcover. Volume 2, which collects issues 5-8, was released in December 2019. (Chad Boudreau)
Something is Killing the Children volume 1
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Werther Dell’Edera
FC, 128 pgs, $14.99 US
What caught my eye with this series was its title: “Something is Killing the Children.” A co-worker of mine has it on her file and I seem to recall asking her what the story was about. Her reply was something along the lines of “Well, something is killing the children….”
Sometimes you get what is exactly what is being advertised.
Something IS killing children and in the first issue we see a fit, punk-ish blonde go into the woods to track, fight and kill the something. She is bad-ass, of course. When I learned later that her name is Erica Slaughter I thought “come on” and almost quit reading. What kept me going though was the story of the survivors introduced: a young boy whose friends were all horribly torn apart at a slumber party, and a young man whose sister has gone missing. The quiet moments of regret, remorse, and uncertainty were the meat of the story for me. Fighting monsters, well, I can get that in a lot of comics. I stuck with it though and now six issues later I’m still in.
Something is Killing the Children was originally planned as a five-issue miniseries but it was extended based on the strength of its sales. Issue #6 hints at a larger story in the background, involving Erica Slaughter’s origins and the organization / family in which she seems to belong.
Writer James Tynion IV is perhaps most widely known for his successful run on Batman and Detective Comics. He did his time in the advertising business before breaking into comics thanks to Scott Snyder, who asked Tynion to co-write a back-up feature in Batman during the Court of Owls story arc. You might also know Tynion from The Woods, a 36-issue series he did with Boom Studios, which also publishes Something is Killing the Children. Italian artist Werther Dell’Edera provides the interiors. I know his work from the overlooked and too short Briggs Land. In Something is Killing the Children he employs a rough looseness in scenes of action and violence.
Some of the individual parts of this series wouldn’t hold my interest alone, but taken as a whole, Something is Killing the Children is poised to remain on my reading pile. (Chad Boudreau)