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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Firefly: The Sting (Part 5) Firefly
"The Sting" Part 5
Chapter Five of Firefly: The Sting
Graphic Novel
BOOM! Studios
Written by Delilah S. Dawson
Illustrated by Rodrigo Lorenzo, with Richard Ortiz
Colored by Doug Garbark
Lettered by Jim Campbell
Cover by Marco D'Alfonso
November 2019


Never leave a woman behind.


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









River and Simon's grandfather (unnamed, mentioned only)




Didja Notice?


Pages 1-2 of this chapter are pages from scraps of notes made by River, information that Saffron did not get, as no one pays attention to little River.


On page 1, River notes that she has named Simon's wrinkles after the moons of Jupiter: Europa, Ganymede, Callista, Almathea, and Io. These are all actual moons of Jupiter, except that Callista should be Callisto.


In the lower-left quadrant of page 1, a passage from Corinthians in the Bible is seen. 


In the bottom-middle of page 1, a picture of a lavender octopus with the hand-scrawled note "DO NOT TRUST CEPHALOPODS" is seen among River's notes. It's possible it's a reference to commercials for Fruity Oaty Bars; such a commercial that activates River's killer programming is seen later in "Triggered".
River's cephalopod note Fruity Oaty octopus in "Triggered"


The picture in the lower-right quadrant of page 1 appears to be of a Reaver.


The music sheet at the top of page 2 appears to be from Richard Wagner's 1870 opera The Valkyrie.


On page 4 of this chapter, River's description of Ranunculus acris, the common buttercup, is accurate.


On page 13 of this chapter, River uses the Latin phrase Deus ex machina, which means "God in the machine", a term used in writing to describe a sudden and unexpected plot device to conveniently solve a problem in the story. 


Chinese translations
(Thanks to the Firefly-Serenity Chinese Pinyinary for the translations)
Page # Chinese English
17 Inara calls River mei mei little sister


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