Pullbox Reviews – Firefly: Bad Company- No power in the ‘Verse can define her

Firefly, its characters (including Serenity herself), & the ‘Verse in general created by Joss Whedon

In this 48 page celebration, take a look into the never-before-seen history of one of the most beloved Firefly characters in the ‘Verse-SAFFRON! Journey through the early days of Saffron’s life, from before her fateful meeting/marriage to Mal. This is an origin story no Firefly fan is sure to forget!

Yolanda…

Saffron…

Bridget…

Three very different women, each exceptional in her own way. Independent, intelligent, able to think on their feet, these ladies helped to define a television series that was already known and loved for its deeply layered characters. Three women with very different hopes and dreams, ranging from marrying a rich man who would care for and about her, to finding a better life than one spent on an outer rim backwater world. All three women with origins in one place, watching and weighing an uncaring ‘Verse from behind the same set of eyes.

Yo-Saff-Bridge.

You Browncoats out there know exactly who I’m talking about.

For the first time, and oh please don’t let this be the last, fans of the all too brief show Firefly are made privy to the history behind one of the characters who didn’t show up regularly in the series but contributed a great deal to the overall story. From her less than humble beginnings growing up in The Gutter of an Alliance run world, to her life growing up in a Guild House dedicated to the training of the esteemed Companions, this fan favorite character has piqued interest. The young woman first introduced to the ‘Verse as Saffron and expertly played by actress Christina Hendricks wasn’t so much “introduced” as she was unleashed. It’s only fitting that she get a fully realized comicbook one-shot to tell her story… or at least, the story she wants us to hear.

As a huge fan of Firefly, I’ve been chomping at the bit to get my hands more of the story that Joss Whedon was only able to begin telling. I’ve snatched up every comic that came out as soon as Dark Horse started producing them, I’ve read the first novel (Big Damn Heroes) to be put into print, and am patiently waiting for the next (and seriously, what took so long for someone to decide to start publishing these books?). When I heard that Boom! had acquired the rights to the property and planned on greatly expanding on the adventures of Malcolm Reynolds and his band of misfits, it was music to my ears.

I’m just going to interrupt our regularly scheduled comicbook review to say that if you have no idea what I’m talking about, you really should check out the sci fi western television series Firefly (space cowboys!), the follow up movie Serenity, and anything else you can get your hands on. No need to thank me… I get my thanks from helping others.

In the case of Bad Company, existing fans should be pleased with the work done by writer Josh Lee Gordon. He’s got a knack for not giving away too much information too soon, and it pays off with the character of Saffron. She’s a mystery. An enigma, always showing us only what she wants us to see… or more importantly, what we expect to see… this jaded young lady is the penultimate con woman. Always working an angle, never letting her disguise slip, and as far as I can see Gordon has a pretty solid handle on the character. Readers get just enough of an explanation to lead us into how “Yo-Saff-Bridge” might have become the conniving schemer that made her such an awesome character on the show, but not so much that we walk away without questions.

The other Big Damn Heroes on this title, the artistic team of (taking a deep breath) Francesco Mortarino (with inks by Vincenzo Federici), Giuseppe Cafaro, Moy R, Gabriel Cassata (colors), & Ed Dukeshire (letters) all hit their mark. The tone of the book strikes a great balance between flavors of the western frontier and gritty, near dystopian science fiction. Again, these are all qualities that I thought made the television series so great. We’ve seen science fiction, and we’ve seen westerns… Firefly wasn’t the first to do it, but it was a near-perfect melding of the two genres. The visual style of Bad Company, with its environments, wardrobe, character design, and tech designs make the book a worthy successor to the Firefly franchise.

I’m not going to say that Firefly: Bad Company answers every question we may have had about “Yo-Saff-Bridge”. Far from it. But let’s face it, if we had all of the answers, she just wouldn’t be as interesting a character. In this case, knowing is not half the battle.

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