Malcolm Reynolds

Name: Captain Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds

Gender: Male

Age: early thirties

Fandom: Firefly/Serenity

Journal: Mal_badinlatin

Typist: Matrix Refugee

Quick Biography

Malcolm's main mission is to keep his crew alive and to keep his ship flying. As Firefly writer Tim Minear stated in an interview: "It's just about getting by. That's always been the mission statement of what the show is — getting by." In Serenity, Mal says of himself: "[If the] Wind blows Northerly, I go North."

Screens from Serenity suggest that Mal was born on September 20, 2468–which would make him 49 at the time of the series Firefly–though this may be a transposition of 2486 (making him 31, an age more consistent with his appearance), since the information screen also misspells his name as "Malcom". Mal was raised by his mother and "about 40 hands" on a ranch on the planet Shadow. Though Mal usually seems more practical than intellectual, he occasionally surprises his friends by displaying familiarity with disparate literature varying from the works of Xiang Yu (a fictional dictator) to poems by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, though he has no idea "who" Mona Lisa is.

Mal volunteered for the Independents army during the Unification War against the Alliance, gaining the rank of sergeant during that time. His loyal second-in-command Zoe was by his side for most of the war, surviving many dangerous conflicts with him. The show mentions three such battles, including the Battle of Du-Khang in 2510 (featured in "The Message") and a long winter campaign in New Kashmir (as told by Zoe in "War Stories") where he commanded a platoon. Mal was also involved in the ground campaign during the Battle of Sturges (as seen in the comic book Serenity: Those Left Behind), which according to Badger was the "bloodiest and shortest battle in all the war", although Mal considers it a distant second. Mal fought in many more battles, but the turning point for him and the Independents came with their physical and emotional defeat at the Battle of Serenity Valley on the planet Hera. On-screen information from the film Serenity suggests that Mal was given a brevet promotion to Captain during the Battle of Serenity Valley to take command of the ever-increasing number of Independent troops who were losing their officers at the hands of the Alliance. This might explain why, in one of the deleted scenes from the Firefly pilot, Mal is described as having commanded at least 2000 men. On-screen information in Serenity shows him to have been attached to the 57th Overlanders Brigade; in the series pilot, Badger calls it the "Balls and Bayonets Brigade", though it is unclear whether that was a disparaging nickname coined by Badger himself or the actual unit sobriquet, a deleted scene in Serenity marks it as the actual unit sobriquet. It is unknown if the deleted scene can be considered canon or not.

After the war, Mal acquired his own ship, a derelict 03-K64 Firefly-class transport. Mal named the ship Serenity after the Battle of Serenity Valley, the decisive battle of the Unification War.

Physical Abilities

A very good shot with a gun. Clever at planning heists and other nefarious deeds. Middling as a pilot. Mechanical ability is spotty at best.

Superhuman Abilities:

Not applicable, unless one counts his ability to get into tight situations and manage to get out of them, though not without some injury to his person or at the very least his dignity (beginning and ending of "Trash", anyone???)

Unusual or Magical Possessions:

One might consider his pistols unusual, as they look somewhat like American Civil War era revolvers, but which fire caseless rounds.


About six feet tall, with a broad, robust build that makes him look a shade shorter than he actually is. Brown hair cut above his ears with a bit of short fringe over his forehead and blue grey eyes with a handsome, blunt-featured face, which gives him a cuddly, almost boyish look… till you notice the holsters at his belt. Perhaps is in his early thirties (but even canon is vague about that). Usually dressed in earth-toned button-front shirts tucked into close-fitting khaki-colored riding trousers and knee-high boots, topped with his signature "Browncoat" duster, a relic from the Unification War.


Doesn't have much book learning, but has an incredible amount of common sense and what might be called "street smarts". Can be snarky to the point of being caustic, but towards his crew, it's good-natured snark, like the kind of teasing one would get from the worst mischievous but really loving older brother imaginable. Distrustful of authority, makes his own rules, but at heart, he's a good, honest man, who wants nothing more than to provide for the family of oddballs on his ship while sticking to his own principles, even if that means pissing off the Alliance or some space-Russian crime boss. Quick with his fists or his pistols, but doesn't deliberately go looking for a fight: the fights tend to come to him because of his tendency to mouth off at the wrong person (which, come to think of it, puts him at somewhat of an advantage since it means his opponent is likely to make a stupid mistake through anger). Generally rather gallant toward women, in his own rough-cut, roguish sort of way.


  • Family: mother and "about 40 hands", Serenity crew, by default
  • Lovers: Nandi (deceased)
  • Score card: almost with Inara Serra, "YoSaffBridge" (to his eternal regret)
  • Friends: "Mister Universe" (deceased); Johnny Rockfort, Sugar,
  • Enemies: where to start?? The Alliance, Adelei Niska, "The Operative", Agravain,
  • Allies:
  • Affiliations (to a particular group, of origin, or not): Serenity crew

RP Canon

While recovering from a gunshot wound to the gut (during the events of "Out of Gas", halfway through the TV series), Mal literally woke up to find himself in the surgery of the basement lab

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