Saturday, June 25, 2016
A rocky start
Two years ago my sister got me one of the Serenity graphic novels as a Christmas present. Unfortunately it was the 4th in the series. Fortunately I have access to a wonderful comic shop and bought myself issues 1-3 for Christmas and have finally gotten around to reading Serenity: Those Left Behind, the first issue in the series.
The Firefly universe is an interesting animal. Each new piece of it is messy. The show itself was cancelled after only a single season, the movie was a bit slapdash and ended up not getting a very good box office response, and the comic books are competently made but shallow in comparison to the show.
I already know that the fourth issue has a good story so I'm not too concerned that the first issue wasn't great - clearly somewhere in between the publishing of those two arcs the writers found their footing and decided what kind of story they were going to tell, and that's really what's missing out of issue one.
In the comic we're reintroduced to all the characters that Firefly fans already know - so it's actually a great entry point for people who want to read a sci-fi/western comic but haven't seen the show or movie. But if you have seen anything else in the 'verse it drags on a bit. The story does give a bit more background into the war that Malcolm Reynolds was a part of, and does a decent job of explaining why he's such a kind scoundrel sort of character.
But I only read it about a week ago and can't remember the central conflict, which is a bit of a problem. That tells me this story was generic. I know there was a dude who wanted to kill Mal but I'm still not really sure what the backstory on that is. I know there's a spacebattle that takes place within ships left behind after a different spacebattle. All in all this wasn't a particularly great book. It looked good, it did give us the story of what happened to Shepard and Inara between Firefly and Serenity, but that's about all it does.
Too bad, but at least I know it got better (and I have two more of the books sitting on my TBR shelf to cement my opinions).
Story: Joss Whedon and Brett Matthews. Script: Brett Matthews. Art: Will Conrad. Colors: Laura
Martin. Letters: Michael Heisler. Cover art: Adam Hughes. Serenity Firefly Class 03-K64: Those
Left Behind. Dark Horse Books. Milwaukie: Oregon. 2012. (2007)