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Comic Book / Firefly: The Sting

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A 2019 Firefly graphic novel, written by Delilah S Dawson and published by Boom! Studios. Set during the TV series, somewhere in between the episodes "Trash" and "Heart of Gold".

With Serenity impounded due to unexpected docking fees, the ladies of the crew decide to head out and hit the spa. Unbeknownst to them, they are followed by a figure from their past — the con artist known as Saffron. She approaches them with a job offer to which she's not taking no for an answer: working together on a heist.

Contains examples of:

  • Affectionate Pickpocket: Saffron nabs Inara's earpiece while kissing her.
  • Anti-Interference Lock Up:
    • The head nun locks Zoe tied up in a pantry to stop her from disrupting the ceremony.
    • When breaking into Logar's mansion, the crew runs into a housekeeper. They lock her in a closet to keep her from raising the alarm.
  • Blackmail: Saffron has gathered the crew's personal info and holds it over them as leverage.
  • The Caper: The plan centers around stealing the goods of diamond mine owner Logar Keppelwhite, making use of a crew and the timing of the commitment day ceremony.
  • Cheating with the Milkman: Logar's wife cheated on him with the pool boy.
  • Color-Coded Speech: Starting from chapter 2, each character's narration boxes and their speech bubbles when talking over comms are in a specific color. Zoe is blue, Inara is orange, Saffron is green, Kaylee is purple, and River is pale pink.
  • Compliment Backfire: Logar likens Inara to a sheepdog among sheep, intending it as a compliment. She isn't having it.
    Logar: Not many women 'round these parts like that, the sheepdog instead of the sheep.
    Inara: First of all, women aren't sheep. Second of all, calling me a dog isn't a compliment.
  • Cucumber Facial: Kaylee has her eyes covered with cucumber slices at the spa.
  • Ejection Seat: The Mule has a seat that ejects with the push of a button which Kaylee uses to throw out Saffron.
  • Fictional Document: Each chapter after the first starts with some documents from the narrating character. For Zoe, it's a video of a conversation with Wash. For Inara, journal pages and drawings. For Kaylee, a diary. For River, assorted drawings and strange writings.
  • For Your Own Good: When the head nun reveals that anyone locked in a room past dawn becomes one of them, she adds, "Often, it's for the best. Some creatures don't know what to do with themselves, and they just get in trouble." She then shoves Zoe into a room, adding, "Like you."
  • Furniture Blockade: When breaking into Logar's mansion, the crew runs into a housekeeper. They lock her in a closet to keep her from raising the alarm, wedging a chair under the handle.
  • Gag Censor: One of Kaylee's diary photos is of Jayne shooting while flipping off the camera, his hand covered in a smiley sun sticker.
  • Gilded Cage: Those who join the convent are cared for, but are never allowed to leave.
  • Girl on Girl Is Hot: Invoked; once they are alone with Logar, Saffron kisses Inara as part of the seduction act.
  • Girl's Night Out Episode: This story focuses on Serenity's female crew members plus Saffron.
  • Group Hug: Inara, Kaylee, and Zoe all gather around River in a group hug after the heist, assuring her that she's one of them.
  • Hand Gagging: When Saffron corners Kaylee in the spa, she cuts off her cry for help by muffling her mouth with her hand.
  • Implied Death Threat: At one point Saffron is pushing Zoe's buttons about motherhood and Zoe reminds her that she can kill her with her bare hands.
  • Improvised Imprisonment:
    • Though there are armed guards at the convent, when the head nun imprisons Zoe to stop her from disrupting the event, she does it by shoving her into a pantry tied up and locking the door.
    • When breaking into Logar's mansion, the crew runs into a housekeeper. They lock her in a closet to keep her from raising the alarm, wedging a chair under the handle.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: When Inara is faced with the task of seducing Logar, she mutters that she's going to need a glass of champagne, adding in her thoughts, "Or twelve. I prefer choosing my own clients, not being used as an accessory."
  • It's Personal: Saffron locks Inara in the convent because of Inara trapping her in a trash crate in "Trash".
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: The ladies agree not to tell the rest of the crew about what really happened, finding it embarrassing to have been suckered into a heist.
  • Mama Bear: Logar's wife looks dead inside in the portraits, but when she's standing between intruders and her baby, as Zoe describes it, "in that moment... she was alive again."
  • Masquerade Ball: The commitment day ceremony is a lavish event that takes place in the convent. All the attendants dress fancily and wear white masks that leave only their eyes uncovered.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg:
    • Inara realizes that it's not Mal that keeps her on Serenity, but everyone else, then amends that: "Well, everyone but Jayne."
    • When Saffron points out to Kaylee that she can still blow up Serenity and its captain, Kaylee muses, "Simon an' Wash are on her, too. An' Jayne, I guess."
  • Not Like Other Girls: Logar compares Inara to a Companion he once knew, saying, "Not many women 'round these parts like that, the sheepdog instead of the sheep."
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Saffron claims that she and Inara are not so different as she tries to persuade her to join her heist.
    Saffron: [I'm] what you would've been, if something had gone wrong. If you'd failed out of companion training. What you could be, if you let go of your pathetic hopes and dreams and boring rules. A free agent. I'm an object lesson in what you fear the most... and what you secretly wish for.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: Saffron's proposition to the crew members: work with her on the heist, or she detonates the explosives she's rigged to the ship.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Kaylee correctly guesses that the password to Logar's safe is his wife's name, since he's so sad over her.
  • Race Against the Clock: By the end, the mission becomes breaking Inara out of the convent before dawn, after which she will be forced to join them.
  • Scenery Censor: A couple of panels in the spa have a character's nudity hidden with conveniently placed foreground objects. When Kaylee is getting into the pool, she's covered up by a plant, and when Inara sits up after meeting Saffron, her chest is covered with two candles.
  • Shoot Out the Lock: Saffron shoots through the pantry door lock to free Zoe from inside.
  • Sinister Schnoz: The head nun has a long, pointed nose and is antagonistic, locking up Zoe so that she'll be forced to join the convent.
  • Spanner in the Works: River throws off Saffron's plans by separating her from her remote.
  • Stern Nun: The nuns are frowning sternly from the moment they appear.
  • Switching P.O.V.: All four Serenity ladies take turns narrating. The part at the spa is told from Inara, then Kaylee, then Zoe's point of view as Saffron approaches them individually. The heist itself is told through different points of view as it progresses — first from Zoe's, then Inara's, then Kaylee's, then finally River's.
  • Terms of Endangerment:
    • Saffron calls Kaylee "little mouse" while having her cornered in the spa, harkening back to her warning to be "quiet like a mouse." Later she condescendingly calls her "my sweet summer child" when explaining about the heist.
    • Saffron addresses Logar's wife as "amorata" (Italian for "beloved") while they're having a standoff with guns.
  • A Threesome Is Hot: Inara and Saffron accompany Logar at the party to get close to him through seduction. When they go into a bedroom together, Logar comments that there's room for all three of them.
  • Villainous Face Hold: When Kaylee questions why Saffron doesn't just do the heist herself, Saffron lightly touches the side of Kaylee's face while giving a condescending reply.
  • We Are Not Going Through That Again: At the end, when Jayne asks if they can go back to the spa, the ladies all shout "NO!"