New Firefly comic will tell the story of the Unification War
Firefly fans are about to get some very interesting answers to long-standing questions. The short-lived space western series only lasted one season on Fox back in 2002. Although interest in the show only grew after its cancellation, leading to the 2005 movie sequel Serenity, there’s still an element of tragedy to how much storytelling potential was left unused by taking the show off the air so quickly.
Over the course of 14 episodes, creator Joss Whedon and the rest of the creative team dreamed up a universe where humankind had taken to the stars but still didn’t distribute its resources evenly. This led to tensions between the wealthy central planets and hardscrabble outlying systems where people struggled as hard as they did back in the Old West. Those tensions came to a head in the Unification War, the devastating conflict briefly glimpsed in the opening moments of Firefly‘s pilot but rarely discussed otherwise other than as a source of lingering trauma for the main characters.
But now, a new Firefly comic will finally explore the Unification War and what characters like Mal and Zoe experienced during those battles.
Firefly‘s rich potential of unexplored mythology has produced several spin-off comics already. Miniseries like The Shepherd’s Tale explored the hidden backstory of characters like Shepherd Book, while No Power in the ‘Verse followed the Serenity crew through new adventures after the film’s conclusion. Now that publishing rights have shifted to Boom! Studios, a new ongoing Firefly comic is launching this November from writer Greg Pak and artist Dan McDaid, and will explore the characters’ war-haunted past as it comes back to bite them in the present. Pak wrote the epic Planet Hulk comic that provided much of the basis for last year’s Thor: Ragnarok, so he’s well-acquainted with complex sci-fi stories.
“It’s high time we got to see the full story of Mal and Zoe’s meeting and mission in the War of Unification — the good and bad that the pressure of war brings out in them, and the unforeseeable consequences,” Whedon, who serves as a story consultant on the new series, said in a statement.
Mal Reynolds (played by Nathan Fillion in the original series) always saw the space-faring life as an escape from his past battles, but the new series will find him and his loyal second-in-command Zoe (originally played by Gina Torres) hunted by Unificators, mercenaries deputized to hunt down war criminals.
“Firefly spoke to so many people at the time because of the themes it dealt with and the way it allowed characters to deal with them, and those themes are even more relevant today: found family, identity, and the emotional toll of resistance, to name a few,” Boom! editor Jeanine Schaefer tells EW. “Our job is to craft stories that will be exciting and rewarding for Firefly fans that have been with these characters from the beginning, but also to introduce it to a new audience. We want to cement Firefly as a pop-culture touchstone, enduring yet modern, in the tradition of other perennial sci-fi epics that are still teaching us about ourselves.”