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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Firefly: Keep Flying Firefly
"Keep Flying"
Firefly: Keep Flying
BOOM! Studios
Written by Jeff Jensen
Illustrated by Nicola Izzo
Colored by Francesco Segala
Lettered by Jim Campbell
Cover by Frany
November 2022


The occasion of Mal's 60th birthday leads to a review of River Tam's living memory.


Notes from the Firefly/Serenity Chronology


The "present day" portions of the story take place on Mal's 60th birthday. This would place the story in about the year 2547 and about 9 years after the events of Brand New 'Verse.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this issue


Wash (in River's memories only, deceased)





Badger (mentioned only)

Jayne (in River's memories only)

Shepherd Book (in River's memories only, deceased)

Inara (in River's memories only)



Shakti (mentioned only)


Lu Bao

Ma Reynolds (in River's memories only) 


Didja Notice?


The story opens with a flashback aboard Serenity near the planet Greenleaf. This world has been mentioned in previous adventures and will become the home of Simon and Kaylee's family by the time of Brand New 'Verse.


On page 3, during the flashback, Mal mentions that Badger has some pirate sims that need to be smuggled into some backwater on Twisp. This is the first mention of the world called Twisp in the 'Verse.


On pages 6-7, River's girlfriend, Rose, remarks that River has been restless since Shakti left for walkabout. Shakti is River's daughter, first seen in Brand New 'Verse, father unrevealed. The term "walkabout" refers to a rite-of-passage journey across the world (universe), usually by adolescents, as part of growing into an adult.


Pages 6-7 reveal that Rose has proposed to her, but River has not given an answer.


Page 9 reveals that a manned gun turret has been newly added to Serenity at the time of Mal's 60th birthday.


On page 12, Mal describes a ship move he calls a Holy Hoburn: a dive into the atmosphere of a planet that bigger ships cannot pull off, allowing a smaller ship like Serenity to shake them. "Hoburn", of course, was Wash's last name.


Pages 12-19 reveal that River has a telepathic connection with Rose, even over stellar distances.


Page 17 implies that River and Rose were both victims of the Academy.


In the shards of River's memory on page 39, panel 1, the shard in the upper left corner may be an image of Ma Reynolds, whom she first met in "Serenity Valley".


The story ends with 60-year old Mal and Zoe agreeing to command Serenity once again.


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