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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Firefly: The Sting (Part 3) Firefly
"The Sting" Part 3
Chapter Three of Firefly: The Sting
Graphic Novel
BOOM! Studios
Written by Delilah S. Dawson
Illustrated by Richard Ortiz
Colored by Doug Garbark
Lettered by Jim Campbell
Cover by Marco D'Alfonso
November 2019


Saffron's anticipated double-cross begins.


Didja Know?


Firefly: The Sting was originally released as a hardcover graphic novel by BOOM! Studios in November 2019. The graphic novel is broken down into 5 chapters, each illustrated by a different artist. Each chapter is 22 pages long, the length of an average comic book, so it seems like this story may have originally been intended to release as either 5 issues of the ongoing Firefly comic book or a separate 5-issue limited series. Regardless, I have chosen to break up this graphic novel into 5 parts for the PopApostle Firefly studies.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this issue



Mal (mentioned only)


Wash (mentioned only)

Simon (mentioned only)

River (mentioned only)



Logar Keppelwhite

Lareen (mentioned only)

Amorata Keppelwhite (mentioned only, unnamed until "The Sting" Part 4)

Keppelwhite's children (unnamed, mentioned only) 


Didja Notice?


Pages 1 and 2 of this chapter appear to be notes and sketches made by Inara about her time aboard Serenity and about the ship's crew, information that Saffron has gleaned.


The note in the upper-right corner of page 1 is a list of seven worlds in the 'Verse, possibly worlds Inara is considering fleeing to as she prepares to leave Serenity.


On the mid-left edge of page 1, the quote "A jug fills drop by drop," is a common paraphrasing of a verse by Buddha. The actual verse goes, "Think not lightly of good, saying, 'It will not come to me.' Drop by drop is the water pot filled. Likewise, the wise man, gathering it little by little, fills himself with good." Another quote from Buddha is found on page 2: "In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you." Inara has been shown to be Buddhist in various stories.


In the lower-right quadrant of page 1, the note reading "One hundred letters I wrote and burned telling you that I must leave soon," must be a reference to Inara trying to tell Mal that she must leave Serenity, which she finally tells him in "Heart of Gold".


The quote at the middle-top of page 2, "Happiness is a journey, not a destination," is a common proverb used since the beginning of the 20th Century. It's original source is unknown.


The cartoonish sketch of an enraged Jayne on page 2 features the quote, "Mal said he couldn't stop at Canton for free drinks, idiot." Jayne is considered a hero in the town of Canton on Higgins' Moon (as seen in "Jaynestown") and likely would get free drinks when visiting.


On page 8 of this chapter, Logar quotes a supposed Buddhist philosophy, "If you are quiet enough, you will hear the flow of the universe. You will feel its rhythm. Go with this flow. Happiness lies ahead." This is not a true Buddhist verse, though it is a modern paraphrasing of things said by Buddha.


On page 9, Inara muses on the time Kaylee spent on Leta where she met a local boy and spent a week in his beach tent while Mal waited for ship parts. This is the first mention of Leta in the 'Verse.


When Logar says he once spent a week with a Companion named Lareen, Inara remarks that they trained together and that her shamisen skills were unparalelled. A shamisen is a Japanese three-stringed musical instrument.


On page 16 of this chapter, Inara uses another Buddhist quote, "Do not look for sanctuary in anyone but yourself."


Chinese translations
(Thanks to the Firefly-Serenity Chinese Pinyinary for the translations)
Page # Chinese English
9 Logar calls Inara baobai sweetheart
11 Logar calls Inara baobai sweetheart
22 Inara calls Kaylee mei mei little sister


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