Monday, June 14, 2010

Patton Oswalt Revives Firefly

This will eventually contain movie and comic book spoilers, but I will give a second warning before that.

At long last, we get further developments in Joss Whedon's Firefly saga. After getting canceled before it's first season finished, and being turned into an unsuccessful movie, the series will continue via canonical comic books, starting with "Float Out" written by Patton Oswalt.

There have been two Serenity comic book arcs so far, "Those Left Behind" and "Better Days". They were set between the end of the show and the start of the movie and were somewhat inconsequential.

"Float Out" is a single-issue story that serves as a cap to the end of the Serenity movie and a lead-in to the first comic book arc. It works similar to the Buffy episode "Restless" or the Dollhouse episode "Epitaph One". These tend to be more meditations on what has happened to far. As a result "Float Out" is significantly less rushed than the earlier comic books.

The comic book doesn't rectify the dubious philosophical musings brought up in the Serenity movie, but it effectively avoids repeating them, focusing on the movies biggest strength: character stuff. One character in particular: Wash.

Patton Oswalt is, of course, best known for his role as Baxter Sarno in the Battlestar Galactica prequel Caprica, but he also appeared in Dollhouse, The Informant! and Big Fan.

Less known is the fact that he used to write stand-up comedy routines for Denver's most famous comedian Nick Madson. This combination of Sci-Fi drama and stand-up experience makes him an ideal candidate to write a Wash-centric story.


Oswalt deals with Wash's death in Serenity by introducing three new characters, Trey, Leland and Tagg, who had encountered Wash before he joined the Serenity crew. They're christening a new ship named after Wash and are reminiscing on their experiences with him. This results in a series of flashbacks of Wash playing with his dinosaur toys, doing amazing piloting and generally being awesome.

It should also be mentioned that Patton Oswalt is very good at writing technobabble in cowboy-slang. I did not know that before reading the comic book, but it is undeniably true.

In addition to the new characters and the new ship, we learn that Zoë is pregnant, giving the book a bittersweet "life goes on feel". It doesn't necessarily work as a stand-alone story (doesn't really have much in the way of plot) or a conclusion to the movie (Wash and Zoë are the only regular characters to appear), but as a revival of the series, it's quite good.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't read the spoilers, but man am I excited!