10 February 2011

Book Banter -- Serenity Comics Vol. 1-3

Titles: Serenity: Those Left Behind; Serenity: Better Days; Serenity: The Shepherd's Tale
Author: Joss Whedon et al
Length: ~80 pages each (160 pages total)
Genre: Sci-fi graphic novels
Where Bethany's Copies Came From: Those Left Behind and The Shepherd's Tale, personal collection; Better Days, Indianapolis Marion County Public Library

Plot Basics: (If you haven't ever watched Firefly, stop reading this blog right now, find the DVDs, watch all 13 episodes and then come back.) Jobs are still hard to come by for the crew of Serenity, and more often than not, their employment devolves into crime as this rag-tag crew of rebels, wanted criminals and mercenaries eeks out an existence in deep space. In this collection of graphic novels set between the short-lived TV series and the follow-up feature-length movie, the crew confronts an old enemy, tries for some R&R and learns the past of the mysteries Shepherd Book.

Banter Points: It's so wonderful that the great characters of Mal, Jayne, Wash, River, and the rest of the crew have more stories since the show/movie are done. The graphic novels read the way episodes feel, a combination of desperation and adventures, swashbuckling and sadness. The first two begin to fill in some of time between the end of the TV show and the movie, pushing forward great storyline that was set up in the show. Shepherd's Tale fills in Book's shadowy past in an ever flashback-ing loop that one of the most interesting storytelling formats I've ever seen.

Bummer Points: They just don't write them fast enough. I could read one of these a week and not get tired of the characters. Also, nobody draws Simon quite right. All the other characters look like the actors who played them, but Simon always look squashy or something.

Word Nerd Recommendation: If you liked the show and haven't read these, my question is "What are you waiting for?" If you like good sci-fi and haven't watched the show which makes the graphic novels make sense, again, my question is "What are you waiting for?"

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