Kicking off the year with ‘Sparrowhawk,’ ‘Firefly’

I’m bringing in 2019 with a bang.

I’m finally hitting up the fine folks at Isle of Comics in South Williamsport and getting on a subscription, so that I know which books will be in every week, even when I can’t make it. No floundering around for missing issues because I wasn’t able to make a commitment locally.

I’ve dropped and added books to my pull-list that I’m excited about reading, and not just from the big two that the internet is telling me I should buy.

And the fact that I’m reading two new books from BOOM! Studios makes the “bang” cliche that much more…explosive.

“Sparrowhawk (No. 1)”

Delilah S. Dawson (Author);

Matias Basla (Illustrator)

I’ve not ready much of anything from BOOM! and “Sparrowhawk” is quite the departure from books I’ve read. Not that I don’t read much fantasy comics, but this is a period piece with a female lead. Throw in a female character of color AND the fae, I’m treading on some dangerous ground here.

To be honest, I’m not even sure why I picked it up, though Dawson’s name has popped up on my radar from time to time. It wasn’t the cover, either, yet Miguel Mercado does a fine job bringing anger to the forefront, even in such a passive pose.

It may have been the name that intrigued me, or even the limited number of issues that would be rolling out. Five issues isn’t such a high number to spring for if I liked it, and like it I do.

“Sparrowhawk” tells us the story of young Artemisia, who is brought up in the royal household. Yet being from a slave background, there is much to be desired from her. She is transported to the Faerie world by one who would take over ours, and Artemisia must do all in her power to stop the invasion…even becoming something she’s not.

Three issues in, I’m finding more and more to love about this series: the artwork of the world and the denizens therein are hideously beautiful and beg to be explored as much as the story.

“Firefly (No. 1)”

Greg Pak (Author); Dan McDaid (Illustrator);

Marcelo Costa (Colorer)

The crew of the Serenity is back, this time courtesy of BOOM! Studios, not those at Dark Horse. I can’t be sure why, but I’m not upset. The last mini-series from Dark Horse only ended in May of 2017, those of which had followed the scoundrels in a post-Serenity (the movie) world.

This new series finds us somewhere before the events of the movie, and they’re in an interesting spot. But, really, when aren’t they? Serenity is being followed by Unifactors, the group that Mal and Zoe fought against in the war. They’ve landed on a moon called Bethlehem, and right from the get-go they’ve set the sights on some pretty heavy religiously twisted plotlines. It’ll be interesting to see the ship’s family (especially with Shepherd Book by their side.)

Everything is here that we’ve come to expect from the television show, movie and previous series: infighting, humor, more infighting, and that weird relationship between Mal and Inara. As always, creator Joss Whedon is story consultant so we know we’re in good hands.

Along with this new ongoing series, there is also a super-sized issues focusing entirely on the romantic foil Saffron coming in March from BOOM! Studios.

“Sparrowhawk” and “Firefly” can both be found at local comic shops and Comixology if you’d rather read digitally.

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