Serenity: Those Left Behind

those left behindTitle: Serenity: Those Left Behind

Author: Joss Whedon, Brett Matthews, Will Conrad (Illustrator)

Summary: Here’s how it is—in a universe filled with hearts and minds as cold and dark as the reaches of space, one small Firefly-class starship named Serenity takes its ragtag crew of mercenaries, outlaws, and fugitives in search of a job, any job, that’ll earn them enough cash to afford that most elusive commodity—peace.

Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, unveils a previously unknown chapter in the lives of his favourite band of space brigands in the prequel to the Serenity feature film—the blockbuster follow-up to Whedon’s cult-hit TV show Firefly.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 4/5

Review: I’m a huge Joss Whedon fan, and i adore and still mourn Firefly. However, the comics, and comics generally, weren’t really something i was into. I was glad they existed, but it wasn’t how i wanted to consume and enjoy this world and these characters. Then i somehow ended up enjoying and seeking out graphic novels. I don’t even know how or why anymore, but i did. That, in turn, changed my mind completely on the Firefly comics: i wanted them–needed them.

And so i took half an hour of a recent train journey to finally read this comic book. And i sort of loved it. The dialogue is perfect, captures perfectly both the general style of the dialogue from the TV series and also the individual characters; i can almost hear them speaking their lines. I think that was my favourite thing. The Chinese doesn’t work quite as well, because while spoken or written we don’t know what is actually being said, without the emphasis or tone the meaning is completely lost and it is slightly redundant (expect to those who can read Chinese, obviously).

The plot was fun, though too short to fully satisfy me. It was great to see old characters make a return, and i especially loved Book’s character development–or, his attempt at curtailing that development. It was nice to see how and why he and Inara left, and to know that wasn’t the end of it for them–that we get to see them again in the film. I just wanted more. More action, more banter, more exploration. But of course, trying to fit a full 45 minute TV episode plot into a comic book would undoubtedly make it a comic novel… or two.

The art was… okay. Not bad at all, and some of it was really amazing. But… i think sometime the artist was trying too hard to make the characters look as much like their actor counterparts as possible, which didn’t quite work for me. I thought Dobson was the most consistently represented, and that’s because at no point did he look too much like the actor who played him, although i could see the actor in him. I’m not sure that makes sense, but i know what i mean. The artist needed to capture the essence of these characters, not their exact physical proportions.

Overall, though, as a hardcore Firefly fan, i loved this. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next one.

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About Wendleberry
I'm odd.

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