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Tag Archive: Jayne Cobb


Review by C.J. Bunce

In his new novel Firefly: The Magnificent Nine, author James Lovegrove embarks on his next journey with the crew of Serenity following his highly successful launch point for the first ever novel series for the franchise, last year’s Firefly: Big Damn Hero (reviewed here at borg).  It’s been thirteen years since we last saw a Firefly story like these two novels, which each contain the contents of about an entire movie.  Along the way creator Joss Whedon has authorized some shorter tales via the comic books (discussed here).  Firefly: Big Damn Hero was the Firefly event of last year, and this year we’ll have two novels competing for that honor, with Tim Lebbon′s contribution to the series of novels coming this fall in Firefly: Generations So how did Lovegrove’s Firefly: The Magnificent Nine compare to his Firefly: Big Damn Hero?

As with Firefly: Big Damn Hero, Lovegrove writes the voices of the entire crew perfectly.  This is another space Western, the core of the original series, and both books feel like natural progressions following the original 14 episodes (Firefly: The Magnificent Nine fits between the last episode and the 2005 film Serenity, allowing the inclusion of two fan-favorite characters–and they’re all fan-favorite characters–Hoban “Wash” Washburne and Shepherd Book).  In a significant way the challenge of writing new Firefly stories is that writers only have 15 “canon” stories to build from, along with any notes from Whedon’s story development.  The potential pitfall is mining the original episodes too much for throwback references.  At 336 pages that’s not anything to worry about for Lovegrove.  Yes, fans will appreciate the Easter Eggs throughout the tale: Jayne Cobb’s famous hat (“a giant piece of candy corn gone wrong”) does not get ignored here, and neither does his weapon of choice, Vera.  But the framework of the story allows for plenty of opportunities for Lovegrove to do more with the characters.  It’s hard to beat his ability to get inside the head of River in Firefly: Big Damn Hero–a difficult character who didn’t get enough time to get fleshed out in the series.  But this time River takes a backseat and Jayne gets the spotlight.  As a completely original story Firefly: Big Damn Hero wins, but not by a lot.

As the title should indicate, Firefly: The Magnificent Nine is an homage to the classic, epic Western The Magnificent Seven, its source Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, and countless adaptations since.  It’s notable and important that this isn’t another actual adaptation or full retelling of the story, as Lovegrove takes his own tangent from the story after setting up the novel’s first act.  But he peppers the story with familiar references, like using actors’ names and Kurosawa himself for new characters in his story.  He also has plenty of Louis L’Amour tropes and references.  One thing this novel makes clear is there are at least as many opportunities for new novels in the series as there are Kurosawa movies and L’Amour novels to pull good ideas from.  So this isn’t merely another take on The Magnificent Seven so much as establishing that the nine heroes of the Serenity are worthy of that title.

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Bad Guys pin

Earlier this year here at borg.com we reviewed the very first Loot Crate in the exclusive Firefly Cargo Crate theme, available every other month via a partnership with QmX.  The first crate (which can be seen for re-sale on eBay now for as much as $300) featured Kaylee Frye, and for fans of the Serenity’s mechanic, that one will be hard to top.  For everyone else, Loot Crate has set the bar again, this time with this month’s Jayne Cobb-themed box, “Let’s Be Bad Guys.”

Just when you think you’ve seen a great monthly box in the mail, whether it’s from Comic Con Box, Nerd Block, or any other service, it’s that much better when the next one that comes along tops the last.

metal flask

The only thing missing here was Adam Baldwin’s famous Jayne knitted hat (sewn by Mama Cobb), which actually was in the boxes of 20 random winners (plus the grand prize in the “Big Damn Prize” category for three very lucky people, a 1:250 high-end model of everyone’s favorite Firefly-class ship Serenity).  But heck, every fan of Firefly already has Jayne’s hat by now, right?

Check out all the was included in this month’s crate:

Jayne shirt

  • an excellent Jayne Cobb shirt in orange (great when box services seem to be stuck on delivering only black shirts lately)
  • a high quality, usable metal flask with a Jayne design

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Firefly Cargo Crate poster

Loot Crate and QMx has answered Funko’s Star Wars Smuggler’s Bounty bi-monthly box service with a new bi-monthly box for Firefly fans, the Firefly Cargo Crate.  Somehow Firefly licensees continue to keep coming up with interesting new ways for fans of the 14-episode series (and tie-in film) to show-off their fandom.  The first Firefly Cargo Crate is sure to appeal to both the average and die-hard fan, focusing on Jewel Staite’s Kaylee Frye, the Serenity’s lovable girly and tech-savvy mechanic.  Since the second crate’s theme will be Adam Baldwin’s Jayne Cobb, it appears at least for now each crate will feature a key cast member.

We were curious what Loot Crate would include for $39.99.  Certainly you’d expect at some point to see one of Jayne’s mom’s cunning hats or one of his T-shirts.  But Firefly fans already have those, right?  Luckily QMx has plenty of items to select from in its arsenal, and delivered the goods on its first crate.  Let’s look through what you get.

Kaylee Bear reveal at 2016 Toy Fair

The two big items are a QMx mini-master figure of Kaylee and a Kaylee plush Teddy Bear, first revealed this year at Toy Fair in New York City.  You don’t remember Kaylee having a bear on the show?  Think of this more like Funko Pops! only with bears.  They look great, are darned cute, and you can envision an entire line of these bears for all sorts of licensed franchises.  The Jayne version (shown above with the Kaylee version at QMx’s Toy Fair display) looks great, too.

Firefly cargo crate box

Next you have the smaller items:  you get a QMx QBits PVC figure of either Jayne or Simon, five QMx Kaylee “Shindig Parasols” to stick in your favorite beverage, two metal pins (one mailed separately with the Serenity and one featuring Kaylee’s quote “Everything’s Shiny Cap’n”), and a set of two extra playing cards for the Firefly board game (we got two sets in our box).  You also get a pair of concept art drawings of the Reaver ship on sturdy card stock.  We expect to see more paper inserts like this, and think this box is a great opportunity for inclusion of replicas from the show like the memorable paper money.

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Adam Baldwin as Jayne Cobb with Firefly hat

First off, moms are awesome.  Especially mine.

Second, if you haven’t seen Firefly, rent it. Buy it.  Amazon.com currently has a set of the complete series for under $13.  You can get it here.  I became a fan of Firefly last year after attending the 10th anniversary panel at San Diego Comic-Con.  Check out my prior discussions of Firefly and its awesome fans here.

One of the main characters in Firefly is Jayne Cobb.  Jayne is tough.  He has a rifle named Vera.  He’s more good guy than bad guy and over the short series Jayne’s character grew to learn from his mistakes, including the betrayal of his shipmates on the Firefly class vessel called Serenity.  The role of Jayne was played by Adam Baldwin, who also played Colonel John Casey on the NBC TV series Chuck.  Since his first role as a big guy helping a little guy in My Bodyguard, Baldwin has appeared in an incredible variety of productions, usually as the tough guy in charge, from Ordinary People to Full Metal Jacket to Predator 2 to Wyatt Earp to Independence Day to the Serenity movie itself.  On television he’s been in The Cape, From the Earth to the Moon, The Outer Limits, The X-Files, Stargate SG-1, NCIS, Angel, Bones, Castle, and Leverage and voiced characters like Green Lantern Hal Jordan and Superman in animated DC Comics series.

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