Tag Archive: Quantum Mechanix

Review by C.J. Bunce

Despite its single season, despite the series going off the air 15 years ago this month, Firefly fans eagerly await the latest access to Malcolm Reynolds and his crew, and know that something new is always around the corner.  That’s because Joss Whedon and the licensees of Firefly continue to oblige, producing some of the best offerings of any fandom.  Whether it’s the Loot Crate Cargo Crate, or Firefly games, or the incredible variety of in-universe and making-of books available, Firefly is at the top of its game for providing new ways to keep the fans excited for their show.  That quality content continues this month with the release of The Serenity Handbook: The Official Crew Member’s Guide to the Firefly-Class Series 3 Ship, by Marc Sumerak.  A bit like The Book of Alien: Augmented Reality Survival Manual and the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Tech Manual in its hardcover presentation, design, and style, The Serenity Handbook is a new close-up look at the inner workings of Serenity for your favorite Browncoat.  It’s also the first in-universe book for Firefly and Serenity (keep reading borg.com later this month for a first look at the next in-universe book for the series and film).

This is an in-universe guide to the famous Firefly class ship, complete with graphics, schematics, and ship features, with margin notes from the Serenity crew, pointing to the ship’s quirks and best features, and contrasting the ship with other vessels.  Its best feature?  The volume of photographs, which seem like production continuity photographs of the set and props from the series re-purposed to become part of the reality of the show’s story thanks to inclusion in this Handbook.  So readers will find views they haven’t seen before of the ship’s bridge section, control panels and switches, the armory, the cargo hold, the galley and common areas, the infirmary and crew quarters, plus views of those vents, pipes, tubing, and display screens that make the ship feel so real.  The photographs look very much like the Polaroids that crew members of any production take on-set, as opposed to the usual screenshot you might find in a book like this (a feature I also loved in Princess Bride: A Celebration).  Set decorators use these images behind the scenes to ensure everything stays in the same place from take to take.  Since they were practical shots, they weren’t intended to be reproduced or seen by anyone else, so they are perfect for a book like this.

Sumerak’s writing in The Serenity Handbook takes this all a step further, creating a conversation between each crew member and the reader, much like a tour, as when Shepherd Book was first brought onto the ship.  All the commentary is true to the personalities on the ship, especially for ship mechanic Kaylee, who you would expect to have a key role in this book.  Many new or reproduced in-universe elements are peppered throughout, like brochures advertising the Series 3 class ships, a ship bill of sale for Serenity, maps, and a mock-up of Wash’s pilot’s license and flight school scorecard.  The ship diagrams provide the sort of detail that Star Trek fans have enjoyed over the years from concept artist Rick Sternbach–each similarly poster worthy.

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While we’re sitting around waiting for the latest Firefly Cargo Crate, we noticed a new set of high-end but reasonably priced playing cards was sporting some of the best artwork we’ve seen on a classic card deck.  It turns out the official Firefly licensed collectible company Quantum Mechanix (QmX) has teamed up with graphic artist Ben Mund to create an exceptional new release.

Mund is known for his work on Serenity blueprints and the Serenity Atlas of the ‘Verse.  With his new deck of playing cards he has created imagery inspired from the series and film, including Jayne’s rifle Vera on the Jack of Clubs, the Serenity on the Ace of Spades, and Inara adorning the Queen of Diamonds.

Note that this isn’t the game of Tall Card, the card game with round cards played in the episode “Shindig.”  But if that’s what you’re after you can pick that up here at Amazon.  This is a traditional 54-card poker deck, good for “Earth-That-Was” card games.  These are Bicycle’s quality playing cards, the real deal from the United States Playing Card Company.  And you’ll want to keep an eye out for Easter eggs from the series throughout the deck courtesy of Ben Mund.

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Bombshells monthly 1 Marguerite Sauvage   Justice variant Bombshells

Artist Ant Lucia’s stunning cover work for DC Comics featuring his DC Comics 1940s era Bombshells was selected as the borg.com comic book event of 2014 here.  If you missed the gallery of art for that cover run check out a few of them here.  Now DC Comics is going to do it again, but even better, the publisher has announced it is launching a new series featuring Lucia’s characters.  Like Superman and Captain America conquered Hitler in the comic books pages in the real 1940s, this new series has alternate world versions of Batwoman, Wonder Woman and Supergirl, plus many other DC characters, in a World War II-era story.

A new month of variant covers will also take over this August, including at least 21 new covers, many by Ant Lucia, the creator of the DC Comics Bombshells.  New statues are on their way, too, plus some other tie-in products.

Superman Wonderwoman Bombshells variant   Supergirl Bombshells variant

Digital chapters of the DC Comics Bombshells Issue #1 will be available starting in July with the first print collection available August 12, 2015.  Written by Marguerite Bennett and art by Marguerite Sauvage, the full line of Bombshells characters will be introduced as the story unfolds in the months ahead.

DC Comics Bombshells is one of the wildest things I’ve ever had the pleasure to create–a story of the DC heroines, all the DC heroines, in a crisis that defines themselves as well as their generation,” said series writer Marguerite Bennett. “The series will explore war stories, romances, mysteries, heists, action adventure, and horror in a way that only these characters could do.”

Teen_Titans_11_BombsVariant Lucia   Ravager variant Bombshells

Artist Marguerite Sauvage will provide interior artwork for the monthly. “I spent a lot of time searching for references to be as accurate as possible to the story and habits of this time period, but keeping in mind it’s a parallel universe, so I can take some freedom on details,” she said in the press release announcing the series yesterday.

DC Comics Bombshells Killer Frost Statue   DC Comics Bombshells Cheetah Statue

DC Collectibles is adding DC Comics’ Cheetah and Killer Frost characters to the Bombshells line.  Designed by Ant Lucia and sculpted by Sam Greenwell and Tim Miller respectively, these new statues will hit stores in Spring 2016.  Also look for apparel and accessories from Bioworld, collectible buttons from Diamond Comics, stylized posters from Quantum Mechanix, stickers from At-a-Boy, and PVC figures from Cryptozoic.  DC Universe Online can also expect to see playable Bombshells Legends characters, in addition to a unique new Episode.

Green Arrow 43 Bombshells Variant   Catwoman Bombshells variant

We’ve collected a sneak peek at all 21 cover variants coming in August, shown above and below.  Look for them in Aquaman #43, Flash #43, Justice League of America #3, New Suicide Squad #11, Batman/Superman #23, Grayson #11, Secret Six #5, Superman #43, Green Lantern #43, and Harley Quinn #19. 

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