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Firefly (Collected Editions)

Firefly: Watch How I Soar

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A new graphic novel exploring one of the most pivotal moments of Joss Whedon’s acclaimed Firefly, as Wash realizes he’s about to die and the most important moments flash before his eyes- including one that even he never expected.


Return to the critically-acclaimed world of Joss Whedon’s Firefly in an all new graphic novel spotlighting Hoban “Wash” Washburne, pilot of the spaceship Serenity...who has just realized he’s about to die.

As Wash’s life flashes before him, he revisits the most important, never before revealed moments in his life, from growing up on a planet so ravaged by pollution that no star could shine in the sky to meeting the woman of his dreams in Zoe, who would become his wife and create a life with him beyond his wildest imagination.

And in those final moments, Wash will reach out to connect with a surprising someone he never thought possible to meet...proving that some bonds transcend our mortal coils.

Writer Greg Pak and artists Davide Gianfelice and Lalit Kumar Sharma come together to present the unforgettable untold stories of the ‘Verse’s most lovable hero set during his final moments - and how love survives even when we don’t.

128 pages, Hardcover

First published December 1, 2020

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About the author

Ethan Young

44 books33 followers
Ethan Young was born Yi Feng Huang, to Chinese immigrant parents in NYC. Young's books include: NANJING: The Burning City (winner of the 2016 Reuben Award for Best Graphic Novel, The Dragon Path, Space Bear, and Life Between Panels.

Young is currently a Character Designer at Marvel Studios Animation.

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5 stars
101 (24%)
4 stars
165 (40%)
3 stars
111 (27%)
2 stars
28 (6%)
1 star
4 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 71 reviews
Profile Image for Robert.
3,433 reviews19 followers
March 1, 2021
So sayeth the cover/copy blurb:

"A new graphic novel exploring one of the most pivotal moments of Joss Whedon’s acclaimed Firefly, as Wash realizes he’s about to die and the most important moments flash before his eyes- including one that even he never expected."

How much of that is actually inside? None. The stories contained are completely unconnected. The change in art styles between stories is disconcerting. The failure to place the stories in the established continuity in any way is confusing. The GLARING contradictions to continuity border on the sacrilegious. All problems that could have been addressed with half a dozen pages of introduction and narration interspersed among the stories. The only thing that even hints that this is a collection of death visions is the cover blurb, so a complete failure all around.
Profile Image for TJ.
697 reviews53 followers
January 16, 2021
This was a fine collection of short comics, with some better than others, but... did we really need it? We already had an entire issue dedicated to this very idea, stories about Wash; wasn’t that enough? I don’t understand what makes his backstory more interesting than, say, Inara’s or Kaylee’s; surely not interesting enough for another whole book dedicated to it. But here we are. Also, the synopsis says these are “flashes before Wash’s dying eyes,” but... that’s nowhere to be seen in the actual book. These are just random stories, and the final one is AU— which the synopsis does its damnedest to try and justify, but it just doesn’t make any sense. Why advertise a plot that isn’t actually in the book itself? Such a weird decision. Overall, there were some good moments in this book, but I felt it just wasn’t necessary, and the execution (wrapped up with the false advertising) was meh. You can skip this one, especially if you’ve already read the other Wash book, Float Out. But if you’re a Firefly diehard or Wash stan— you’ll find something to enjoy here! 3/5 stars.
Profile Image for J. Griff.
364 reviews12 followers
November 27, 2021
When I bought this I didn’t realise it would be a collection of short stories. Several were cute & the others were okay. Wasn’t impressed with a lot of the art.
Profile Image for Ming Wei.
Author 8 books266 followers
May 24, 2022
This book increasing the back ground information about Wash the pilot of Serenity, you learn about events in his past with his father, how he dreamed one day being a pilot but fear that he did not have enough money to follow his dream, but an event where he is forced to save himself and others by flying a spacecraft proves is flying abilities to all that witness it. There are multiple stories in this novel from different periods of Washs life, demonstrating his flying ability and his desire to save other people. There is a different artwork to each of the stories, all are OK, i did prefer the artwork of one of the stories above all others, but this is just my own opinion. The colouring of the storylines works very well to develop and consistently change the environment that the storyline flows through. Included in the graphic novel, is a brief look at another story in the firefly universe, when Mal becomes a sheriff, the book is not saturated with advertising or anthing. Some nice artwork, pictures throughout, the front cover is nice, and the book as a quality feel in your hands.
Profile Image for Courtney.
1,011 reviews32 followers
January 13, 2021
Almost feels unfair leaving it with it seeming like Mal’s mother shot him, but we’ll see
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Amber.
2,830 reviews27 followers
December 16, 2020
Cute side stories, art always trips me up though.
Profile Image for Mark.
1,118 reviews40 followers
December 26, 2020
Nice moments of characterization of Wash... but I didn't think it added up to much.
1 review
January 18, 2021
I didn't think I'd like this "variations on a theme" presentation as much as I did. The book plays out very similarly to the equally-emotional "Out of Gas" episode of Firefly, and it really expands Wash's backstory as a character.

Usually I get nervous when they try to explain so many details behind character quirks or in-jokes. (See: "Solo: A Star Wars Story"... actually probably don't.)
But this book actually did a really good job of enhancing the character authentically.

There's a lot of references and symbolic foreshadowing if you're paying attention, which is as clever as it is a bit of an emotional gut-punch.
(Oh the sudden, but inevitable betrayal!)

Obviously, if you haven't seen Serenity, you should definitely see it before reading this.

I kinda liked how the stories flowed into each other very well, the only indication being the sudden arrival of different artists, however this could also be a bit confusing at times.

Like a lot of these graphic novels, the artist renditions vary widely in terms of overall satisfaction.

Some felt like they captured the character's essence and personalities very well, while others had a feeling like they were colored pre-vis for filmed or animated material we'll never otherwise get; Like they referenced the characters from paper, rather than the actors who portrayed them on the screen. I found some character portryals a little disappointing.

That being said, the dialogue is absolutely fantastic, and you can just hear it being voiced as if you were watching it on film. The witty and poetic, sometimes monologue-y writing we love is very much intact here.

This story is primarily about Wash and a bit of Zoe of course, so don't expect many lines from your other favorites.

All in all, this lovely graphic novel gives us a glimpse of "what might have been," both in the case of different narrative decisions and perhaps an un-cancelled beloved series.

I give it 4 soaring leaves on the wind out of 5.

...I'm not crying. You're crying.
Profile Image for Liz (Quirky Cat).
4,166 reviews64 followers
November 25, 2020
FIREFLY: WATCH HOW I SOAR, available Wednesday from BOOM! Studios, provides some unique inside into a long-standing favorite from the show Firefly. Hoban ‘Wash’ Washburne takes center stage for this adventure.

Perhaps this should go without saying, but if you’re a fan of Firefly, yet haven’t seen Serenity yet, don’t read Wash’s story, unless you want some major spoilers. Likewise, reading the rest of this review may not be the best idea.

Firefly: Watch How I Soar is a graphic novel that collects five stories of the one and only Wash, pilot of Serenity. These stories revolve around the ultimate fate for Wash, the one waiting for him at the end of Serenity.

Coming alongside these five stories is a massive creative team, with Jeff Jensen, Ethan Young, Jorge Corona, Jared Cullum, Giannis Milonogiannis, Jorge Monlongo, and Jordi Perez all lending a hand to make the project fly.

Check out the rest of my review over at Monkeys Fighting Robots
18 reviews3 followers
March 18, 2021
read it in an hour and almost cried during the whole thing. I like what there doing with making comics of the backstories of the characters we love. in the legacy collection it has a shepherd's backstory and in the unification war trilogy we get the backstory for mal and some for Zoe. I can't wait to read more the verse has to offer I'm almost done with the comics and will quickly pick up the novels when I'm done. I would suggest watching the original show and definitely watch serenity before the comics and novels but you can lookup official orders.
Profile Image for Sue Chant.
783 reviews13 followers
August 15, 2021
Well that was terrible. Dismal storyline, appalling graphics, poor characterisation - I don't need it to be photorealistic, but the characters look like they were drawn by someone who hadn't even read a Firelfy script, never mind seen the programme. So disappointing.
Profile Image for Saz.
220 reviews
March 13, 2022
I have held of on reading this for too many months now and just decided to finally read it.
Wash! 😥😭 So melancholy. Some of the art I didn't care for as much as others. Some nice backstories and possible what ifs. I liked the first one the most, gave me lots of feels.
Profile Image for Krista.
497 reviews8 followers
December 21, 2020
The stories in this just make my heart boom an extra beat 😍😢
Profile Image for Rachel.
276 reviews3 followers
January 29, 2021
Nothing will top “The Shepherd’s Tale,” but this made me get emotional about Wash all over again.
Profile Image for Bel.
738 reviews53 followers
August 14, 2021
Quite nice to be back in the Firefly world, but there's no coherence here: just a collection of Wash-focussed vignettes. There is no marker to show where one story ends and the next begins, which was occasionally confusing. Feels like a bit of a cash in.
Profile Image for Milan Pohl.
Author 72 books14 followers
December 3, 2020
Spíše než grafickým románem je "Watch How I Soar" volným souborem kratších příběhů z Washova života, napsaných a nakreslen��ch poměrně pestrou škálou tvůrců. Široká paleta výtvarných stylů knize velmi svědčí, navíc lze říci, že i příběhově se jedná o zajímavější (a významnější) epizody než ty, které jsme si mohli přečíst v podobně zaměřeném komiksu "Serenity: Float Out" z éry Dark Horse.

Graficky je tenhle svazek vypravený moc pěkně, ostatně na to jsme u BOOM! Studios zvyklí. Zamrzí poměrně laxní redakční práce - v některých příbězích je Serenity psána kurzívou, v jiných nikoli; Zoë, často psaná bez přehlásky, neoslovuje Malcolma "pane" jako v TV seriálu, nýbrž "Male"; někteří scenáristé opět chrlí názvy nových planet a měsíců, zapomínajíce na to, že jejich množina by měla být konečná, definovaná v publikacích od QMx včetně mapy univerza Firefly/Serenity. Příběh, ve kterém Wash se svým otcem na vesmírné lodi navštíví zapadlý měsíc s dinoparkem, trošku drhne i dějově (dialogy v TV seriálu budily jednoznačný dojem, že před nástupem na akademii toho Wash z vesmíru moc neviděl, ostatně v podobném duchu se nesou i ostatní příběhy v téhle knížce).

S těmito drobnými výhradami lze "Watch How I Soar" doporučit každému fanouškovi, ať už díky velice příjemné nostalgii, jejíž závan prostupuje nejsilněji asi posledním příběhem ve stylu "co by, kdyby", nebo třeba proto, že vizuálně je to prostě pošušňáníčko.

Celkové hodnocení: 75 %
Profile Image for David.
339 reviews
December 31, 2020
Six variations on a theme of Washburne:
"I am a leaf on the wind, watch how I soar." - Wash, Serenity
This infamously incomplete line nearly ruined the movie for me. Fortunately, this graphic novel goes a long way to rehabilitating my conflicted feelings, by delving into the history and character of the courageous Firefly captain with the boyish face (and toys).

The first five stories take place before the events of Serenity. Different artists are involved with each story, the only indication of story transition. The watercolors for #3 are particularly fantastic. Story #4 destroyed me several times over--especially on the last frame--and reminded me how much I enjoyed watching the dynamics between Wash and his wife Zoë in the TV series. The pair provide a source of dependable stability in contrast to the crew, and indeed the 'verse.

The last story threw me for a loop until I happened to read the back cover more closely, and realized it takes place in an alternate universe. (Whew!) There could've been a nice frame story between the covers to explain the setup better. That would've earned a fifth star from this fan.

I'm still upset at Wash's gratuitous character arc in Serenity, but this enjoyable anthology does him justice. Finally.
Profile Image for Jay.
505 reviews19 followers
December 7, 2020
The latest Firefly original graphic novel from Boom! Studios is focused on the life and times of one Hoban Washburne, or "Wash" as he is known to the legion of dedicated Browncoat fans.

The six stories featured in this OGN range from the entirety of Wash's life from a child to a rather speculative story that would seem impossible given the events of the 'Serenity' movie.

I will say that while I wasn't keen on some of the artistic renderings, the individual stories themselves gave a lot of insight into how and why Wash became like he was when we meet him. There's some drama, some regrets and a number of action driven sequences as well.

And if you are looking for a little wistfulness, the story "The Flight Lesson" (written by Jeff Jensen with art from Jordi Perez, Maxflan Araujo and Fabio Amelia will definitely have you wishing for what might never be.

There's a couple of surprises along the way and that helps make this a book all Firefly fans will be glad to add to their collection.
Profile Image for Amber Lea.
686 reviews95 followers
April 12, 2023
uhh, I would give this four stars if I wasn't so confused.

It starts out fine, like we see Wash and Zoe talking about his death plans which is a really sweet conversation, we meet Wash's father which is interesting, and we see young Wash struggling to become a pilot which felt a little off, but then in this version of the universe Wash lives and Mal dies? For a portion of this comic I have no idea if the "Wash" we're watching is our Wash or his dad. The art style kept changing dramatically and that wasn't helping. I didn't realize until the end that this is supposed to be Wash's life flashing before his eyes right before he died because that wasn't apparent through the story telling. This being his thoughts in his last moments makes the part where he teaches his daughter to fly make some sense, I guess. I'm still confused about Mal. I guess nothing in this is cannon then?

This definitely could have been a lot better with just a few tweaks, but it's not the worst Firefly comic.
Profile Image for Eric Benson.
Author 2 books2 followers
December 31, 2020
Really enjoyed this comic. It is a series of flashbacks of and future aspirations for the life of Wash as he dies at the end of “Serenity”. Each story is written and drawn by different people. Some I enjoy more others, but overall it works as a whole. It’s ending seems to set up the new Boom! series “A Brand New Verse” featuring Wash and Zoe’s daughter Emma. The last story also seems to connect with the rumored Disney franchise reboot.

The comic is constructed in a nice bookend format and adds to the back story of Wash that “Float Out” started. It’s well conceived and each story makes you miss Wash even more, bringing back the shock and rage you had after he is lost at the end of “Serenity”.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Joey Nardinelli.
518 reviews2 followers
December 24, 2021
A fun little series focused entirely on one Hoban Washburne of the Firefly universe. I think the bookend pieces by Jensen and the story illustrated and written by Corona were probably highlights and the least likely to totally fade into my memories of reading these EU stories over the past two years. It does make me wish they’d do some stuff like this for all the characters, especially some of the new comics-only characters like Boss Moon. I think I’m just about to that point where I need to rewatch the series and view the movie…if only I had the time.
Profile Image for Ryan Laferney.
692 reviews29 followers
December 29, 2020

The six stories featured in this graphic novel range from the entirety of Wash's life from a child to a rather speculative story about what might have happened had the tragic events in the 'Serenity' movie not taken place.

I'm a big Firefly fan, I rewatch the show and film yearly, and Wash is one of my favorite characters, so I really enjoyed this graphic novel. I think the idea of Wash watching his life flash before him and even entering into a speculative realm of what could have been is brilliant, touching, and sad.


I'm getting all choked up just thinking about it.
73 reviews
January 20, 2021
this was a boon for the heart and I'm not going to lie, I cried. The art is beautiful and the stories are interesting. They look back at a life that could have been for Wash and Zoe. It's heart breaking to read some of the stories if you're a Browncoat and are emotionally invested. There are some lovely visits from some old friends in this but not enough to take away from the main stories from Wash and Zoe. I'd definitely recommend this as a follow up to the series and the film.
Profile Image for Kyle O’Keefe.
369 reviews1 follower
June 2, 2023
The first page is the only good page in the book. I was so excited by the art and dialogue on that page, but everything after it was trash. People shouldn’t write in this universe if they can’t get the characterization and dialogue right. It pains me that this garbage gets published when I know there is some banger fanfic and fan art out there that will never show up in Barnes and noble (where I picked this up). Booooo tomato tomato.
Profile Image for Karen.
Author 2 books
December 14, 2020
Wow it was really good. I like the transitions of art and the dialogue flowed super well in my head. I don't know much about Firefly other than it was a really popular scifi show but I think the story was a nice small read about one of the crewmates on the ship. Will make a nice gift to someone who's into space.
Profile Image for Haven.
101 reviews2 followers
May 29, 2021
This was incredible I loved getting to learn more about my favorite character. I will give you a warning I balled my eyes out reading this, however it was a hundred percent worth it. This graphic novel was so sweet and a perfect representation of Wash. All Firefly fans should read this graphic novel!
Profile Image for Laura.
1,167 reviews121 followers
October 2, 2021
Five stories about Hoban Washburne, starting from the tree whose roots entwine his skeleton and break his tombstone and running through the life of the daughter he never got to meet. It's loving and well told, but marred a bit by the back blurb which both mischaracterizes the stories in a dumb way and misspells Wash's name.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 71 reviews

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