Saturday, May 7, 2011

Review: Serenity – Better Days

Serenity: Better Days
By Joss Whedon, Brett Matthews (story), Will Conrad (art)

Published: October 2008 by Dark Horse Books

Read: 2 May 2011

When the Serenity crew uncovers a heaping pile of cash – marking their first successful heist – they divulge their most outlandish fantasies, and look forward to a little R&R in a tropical paradise. Unfortunately for these space cowboys someone is hot on their heels in search of a prize more prescious than money.

Will Appeal to Fans of Firefly

I discovered the brilliant but short-lived tv series Firefly rather by accident a little over a year ago. I was browsing IMDb and came across this series that was described as a "space western" and had an average rating of 9.4. I figured with such a high rating it had to have something going for it, so I decided to buy the DVD set even though I wasn't expecting it to be more than mildly entertaining. What I saw completely blew me away. It is one of the best television series I have ever watched, and by the end of the 14 episodes and the movie that came a few years later, I had fallen head over heels in love.

Better Days is the second of three graphic novels written by the creator of Firefly, Joss Whedon and set between the original series and the movie Serenity. It is also the first graphic novel I have ever read (unless Donald Duck books count) and I am not sure I am a fan of the format. Being so used to novels I missed all the information you get from continuous text. The story felt a bit choppy like there were bits missing here and there, and I was a little confused for a while. But once I got into the style, I quite enjoyed myself.

Since the story is co-penned by Joss Whedon the dialogue was spot on and I had no trouble hearing the actors' voices inside my head. The resemblance to the actors in the artwork was pretty good too (except for Kaylee, she did not look like herself). The plot felt like something that could have happened on the show – something I would have loved to see happen on the show, actually. It was great seeing the crew's fantasies about what they would do with their newfound riches (Jayne's cracked me up!), and the ending was sweet.

While this oh-so-short graphic novel did little to satisfy my craving for more Firefly, it did put a smile on my face and reminded me of what could have been had the show been allowed to run longer. It was a fun story that will surely appeal to fans of Firefly.

My rating:

Serenity series:
  1. Those Left Behind (2006)
  2. Better Days (2008)
  3. The Shepherd's Tale (2010)

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