On Friday of last week, Dark Horse Comics began promoting their newly licensed property, Joss Whedon’s Firefly/Serenity universe, with the hash tag #WheresSerenity? This is great news for fans of the series, who’s cult following responded so strongly to its early cancellation that it prompted the movie Serenity, which served as a kind of completion to the series. So, while the universe will undoubtedly be revisited with Dark Horse Comics’ upcoming releases, the question still remains, will it be any good?
This is the unfortunate nature of licensed properties, they often aren’t very good. Why is that? Well, sometimes the cost of acquiring a title is so high that not much is left for matching up high profile titles with high profile creative teams. Other times a publisher is really just making a money grab, so quickly getting the title on shelves trumps quality (and even coherent) storytelling and/or artwork.
Personally, I feel like Dynamite’s Game of Thrones is a sad example of a licensed comic not working out. Boom Studio’s Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm, however, has been a shining example of a what a great team with a great property can do (writers Corinna Sara Bechko & Gabriel Hardman, with artist Damian Couceiro). So, here’s looking at you, Dark Horse. Hopefully this isn’t just a cash grab but a real journey deeper into the universe of Joss Whedon’s Firefly/Serenity. Only time will tell.
~ Tim Jenkins ~