It goes without saying that many story elements of Joss Whedon’s Firefly were left unexplored due to the show’s premature cancellation in 2003, and while Serenity would come along later and do a respectable job of tying up some of those loose threads, a few stones still remain unturned. Among them, the Unification War, which preceded the events of the TV series and turned a spirited Malcolm Reynolds into the embittered captain at the helm of the ship Serenity and her crew of misfits. Boom! Studios is looking to dive into those inciting years with their upcoming comic this November.
Joss Whedon consulted on the comic, which is written by Greg Pak and features art by Dan McDaid, and said about the project:
“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.”
The Unification War, as the name implies, was a widespread and hostile takeover by the Union of Allied Planets seeking to ‘unify’ the remaining Independent Planets operating outside of their rule. The war lasted five years and ended of course with the Independent Planets defeated, a loss that devastated young idealistic rebels like Malcolm Reynolds and Zoe Alleyne, who met while resisting the Unification.
Pak explained where he plans to take the prequel:
“Our story will reveal key experiences for Mal and Zoe during the Unification War that you’ve never seen before. And we’ll introduce entirely new corners of the star system with characters, organizations, and subcultures that are absolutely true to all the world-building you know but absolutely brand-new at the same time.
It’s a huge tribute to the creators of the original show that their rich, intriguing world and hilarious, compelling characters could inspire so many additional stories. We’ve gotten the incredible go-ahead to do something particularly special in this new series — we’re digging deep into the Unification War, the galaxy-shattering event that shaped so many of our central characters. Many of the show’s central themes revolve around the way everyday people handle the threat of tyranny, the trauma of war, and the danger of falling into villainy when resisting a world run by villains. We’re getting the chance to reveal essential truths about our heroes’ pasts and put them through experiences in the here and now that they’ve never fully dealt with before. As a fan of the show who adores these characters, I can’t wait.”
For us, the most intriguing part of digging deep into this chapter of Whedon’s Firefly universe is how Pak and McDaid will characterize Mal, who we’re led to believe is an entirely different person prior to losing the war. We see a glimpse of it in Firefly‘s pilot episode, which takes place during The Ballad of Serenity Valley, where Nathan Fillion plays a much cheerier, optimistic soldier. The opportunity to spend a lot more time with this version of Mal is something new and potentially very worthwhile.
Similarly, Boom! is planning six more announcements for various comics before San Diego Comic-Con; the convention runs July 19-22 at the San Diego Convention Center, with the annual Preview Night taking place July 18.
Images: 20th Century Fox, Boom! Studios
Source: Entertainment Weekly