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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Firefly: The Fall Guys (Part 4) Firefly
"The Fall Guys" Part 4
Firefly: The Fall Guys #4
BOOM! Studios
Written by Sam Humphries
Illustrated by Jordi Perez
Colored by Francesco Segala, w/ assists by Gloria Martinelli
Lettered by Jim Campbell
Cover by Francesco Francavilla
January 2024


Alliance Prime Minister Hamner turns up the heat on the town of Beloved.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this issue







Amber Archambeau

Blue Jean Baby


Mayor of Beloved




Simon and River's grandma (mentioned only)

Sheriff Persimmon

Hatfield (in Zoe's memories only, deceased)

Spears (in Zoe's memories only, deceased)

Beloved townsfolk



Didja Know?


Firefly: The Fall Guys is a 6-issue limited series comic book published by BOOM! Studios in 2023-2024.


The back cover and inside front cover of each issue of this limited series has replaced the usual image of the Serenity flying through space with that of the Alliance Prime Minister's fancy ship as introduced in "The Fall Guys" Part 1. 


Didja Notice?


As the issue opens, Kaylee and Inara are thinking of ways they each might die one day. Inara suggests she may go out at a devastatingly fantastic dinner and food gets stuck in her throat with no one around to Heimlich. She is referring to the Heimlich maneuver, as developed by American physician Dr. Henry Heimlich, the use of abdominal thrusts under the victim's diaphragm to clear an obstruction in the windpipe.


On page 5, Mal gives the crew some code-named orders to work in conjunction to take down the Archambeau gang. One of the orders is for himself to pull a classic Gene Autry from behind. Autry (1907-1998) was an American actor, singer, and songwriter. He made a lot of singing cowboy/good guy western films in the 1930s-50s, often using the old "sneak up to the bad guys from behind" trick.


Inara pulls an old, ragged, dirty sheet over herself and pretends to be a ghost to scare and distract the Archambeau gang, and chants out, "Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorroooow! Creeps in this petty pace from day to daaaaaay!" These are lines spoken by Macbeth in the eponymous play by William Shakespeare.


On page 5, Blue Jean Baby questions the meaning of Inara's chant, saying, "What the frok is that supposed to mean?" This is the first appearance of the word "frok" in the 'Verse. From the context, it may be an alternate way of saying "fuck" and it may also be a twist on the word "frak" in Battlestar Galactica, which is a more established alternative for "fuck".


When Daffodil sees Inara in her spooky sheet, and not knowing who it really is, she exclaims, "A g-g-ghost?!" This is likely a joking reference to the Casper the Friendly Ghost cartoon character, in whose cartoons invariably an innocent bystander would get a glimpse of the affable apparition and immediately become fearful and panicky and exclaim, "A g-g-ghost!!" Another possible reference is to the Scooby-Doo cartoons, where the eponymous dog or his equally-cowardly master Shaggy would stutter something similar in every episode regarding the fake supernatural entity of the week.


Page 12 introduces an Alliance vehicle not previously seen, a naplasma cannon tank. Naplasma itself was introduced in "The Fall Guys" Part 3 as an incendiary gel similar to napalm.


On page 13, Leonard sings the lyrics, "So I creep, yeaaaah, just keep it on the downlow..." This is from the 1994 song "Creep" by TLC.


Also on page 13, Kaylee says, "Grod damn it, Zoe..." This is the first use of the word "grod", presumably in place of "God". Zoe also uses "grod" on page 22.


In orbit, Serenity is pursued by Alliance Cruiser M80 Harrowgate.


On page 14, River retorts to Simon's idea of escape, "We won't be here when our crew needs us on Beloved!" She seems to be referring to Beloved as if it's the name of the moon, but Beloved was previously established as being a town on the moon Plymouth.


On page 16, one of Beloved's townsfolks remarks, "The Alliance don't leave nobody alone! That's their whole ray-zon de-etrah!" He is using the French term raison d'être, meaning "reason for being".


    On page 17, her memories of Hatfield and Spears remind Zoe of how Hamner left the pair of them burning from naplasma at the Battle of Monterrey Moon. This was seen in flashback in "The Fall Guys" Part 3. 

   Here, "Monterey Moon" is spelled with one "r", but in the aforementioned issue, it was spelled with two. Next issue, it's back to having two.


For some reason, one of the townsfolk has a monkey perched on his shoulder on page 21. Maybe the man's an organ-grinder.


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