Title: Firefly: The Outlaw Ma Reynolds #1
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Davide Gianfelice, George Kambadais
Published: January 8, 2020
Publisher’s Summary: “After the shocking conclusion of Mal’s journey with Boss Moon, Mal hands himself into the Alliance…but it turns out its not him they want. The infamous Ma Reynolds is at the top of the Alliance’s Most Wanted, and if Mal doesn’t get to her first, the Alliance will! Kicking off a new year of Firefly, discover the secret history of Mal and his mother, and what that will mean for the rest of the ‘verse…and a new brewing war to end all wars.”
Here is another spinoff of the well-loved and early cancelled Joss Whedon television series. The fanatics will be all-in regardless of content, but even so there is reason to be wary. Associated content of well-known, branded intellectual property, especially when it is centered on a non-canonical character, needs to do a lot of work so as not to come off as a cash grab.
The saving grace here is that the story is really about Mal, his relationship with his mother, and a caper she set up for him. Whether it is to his benefit or detriment remains to be seen. Greg Pak is telling a cops and robbers’ story that is not particularly reliant on Firefly lore, and that works well. There are some name drops and call backs, but for the most part this is an original story.
Beyond that, Firefly: The Outlaw Ma Reynolds is a well-executed escapade that captures the sci-fi-western vibe of the original show, but feels independent enough in its own right for it to be successful even if the reader knows nothing about Firefly. So yes, mission accomplished.
The Bottom Line
A charming take in the Firefly verse all about the fun in Malcolm Reynold’s dysfunctional family. It’s not every day a man has to take his Ma to jail.