In this beginning to a new storyline, Mal gets caught up with his mortal enemy the Alliance to capture his mother, exploring his past in the process. Is it good?
In this extra-large issue, Mal makes a deal with the devil; the Alliance agrees to release him if he agrees to capture a very important wanted fugitive – his mother, Maude Reynolds. Mal’s complicated relationship with his ma is revealed partly with how quickly he agrees to go after her and partly in the flashbacks to his childhood.
The issue is split into three parts: the first from Mal’s perspective, the second from Maude’s, and the third a heist where the two come together. The flashbacks do an excellent job of showing how Mal became the man he is today, in large part because of his mother and her actions. Writer Greg Pak creates a woman with a stubborn streak as long as her son’s, and creates situations that echo struggles and decisions that Mal made both in the show and continuing into the comics. It’s smart and sharp writing, with a pace that makes the 43 page issue feel like a standard length, and of course fun nods to the original series.
Davide Gianfelice and Ming Doyle trade off illustrating throughout the issue, one taking the present day and the other doing the flashbacks, with lovely coloring by Joana LaFuente. Their styles are distinct, but flow nicely together, each working together to make cohesive designs. Both of them have a knack for facial expressions:
This is a fast-paced and thoroughly enjoyable read, and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how the story plays out.