Where this evil hails from: Joss Whedon’s Firefly
Why this evil made me fille the fear: To be sure, the Reavers and Alliance personnel are the star evil of Joss Whedon’s epic Space Western Firefly and the sequel movie Serenity. Certainly, the Reavers get the best and creepiest music. But it is the enigmatic Hands of Blue that are truly chilling. These two seemingly normal gentlemen in suits are on the hunt for fugitives Simon and River Tam. Appearing in only two episodes of the original series (The Train Job and Ariel), little is known about this villainous pair; they are men of few words, they both wear blue gloves, they seem to be under contract of the Alliance government, and they kill anyone who has come in contact with their quarry, River Tam. “Kill” is a nice term, “murder” or even “cold-blooded murder” would better suit. With cold precision and total lack of interest, the Hands of Blue employ a sonic device, causing brain hemorrhaging and internal bleeding. A device which has no effect on the Hands of Blue.
There are two key components to what makes the Hands of Blue so horrifying. The first is their air of mystery. River Tam’s rhyme regarding her pursuers, “Two by two, hands of blue” is vague and eerie but also almost everything known about the Hands of Blue. We don’t know who they are or what, as the case may be. We can surmise they are under orders from the Alliance to track down the Tams and we know that they will eliminate not only anyone or thing thatgets in their way, but also anyone or thing that is even remotely connected with River. A little more can be gleaned from the Serenity: Those Left Behind comics but I’ll let you ferret out that information. It certainly doesn’t detract from the creep factor.
The second component is how mundane the Hands of Blue appear. Two guys in suits, who strangely choose to wear matching blue gloves. They could be anyone and can easily disappear in a crowd. Their method is so simple: a sonic device, nothing flashy, but one that causes a gruesome and painful death. And, while they may seem perfectly normal at first, their emotionless efficiency is spine-tingling.
How this evil still does: The stories of Captain Mal’s crew continue after the Firefly series in comic form; Serenity: Those Left Behind seeks to fill the gap between the end of the TV series and the events of the movie, Serenity. Only in the comics do we learn that the Hands of Blue are incinerated by Serenity’s engine, leaving the hunt for the Tam’s to be passed on. Luckily for anyone who crosses paths with River, the Operative is a little more lenient about murdering people who happen to have indirect contact with her.