book reviews

Serenity, the graphic novels

***ATTENTION! There will be spoilers about Serenity. If you have not seen the movie Serenity I suggest you look away. AGAIN, SPOILERS!!***

I recently finished reading the four graphic novels based on the show Firefly and the movie Serenity by Joss Whedon. The novels were written and illustrated by a range of different people including Joss Whedon, Zack Whedon, Patton Oswald, and many many more. The first installment, Those Left Behind, takes place between the TV show and the movie. This is what should have been the last episode (in my opinion). It didn’t resolve anything, or answer any of my questions, but it was

img_1707a better ending than the show. I DO NOT blame Joss Whedon for the way the show ended, because they were prematurely cut. The writers did what they could to wrap up everything in one episode. I thought Those Left Behind was a fantastic, well-written, wonderfully drawn graphic novel and a great companion to the show. The second book was not my favorite story. This one, Better Days and Other Stories, had four different stories. They were fun and action-packed, just like an episode of the show. I could see each of these jobs being played out during an hour long episode. Except Float Out. I did not like Float Out. I found it slightly confusing, a little dull, yet utterly heartbreaking all at the same time. The story revolved around Hoban “Wash” Washburne, the ship’s pilot. Wash is my favorite character. When he died I openly sobbed. In Float Out people he used to work with/be friends with shared stories about him. I liked the stories, and to hear more about Wash, but I could not tell who was talking and who these people were. The ending, however, gave me all the feels and forced me to reach for the tissues. Zoe Washburne walks in and she is SUPER pregnant. *cue Amy’s tears for all eternity* Now the third book: The Shepherd’s Tale was everything I needed and wanted and could not get. Shepherd Book was probably one of the most secretive characters. He does not let people in his mind or his past. The Shepherd’s Tale shows his past! And it is not what I expected (hint: He was not always a Shepherd). Looking back on things that characters have said about him that I found suspicious, like when someone said he wasn’t a real Shepherd, make total sense after reading this.

Which brings us to the fourth and final book: Leaves on the Wind. First, the title. My favorite line is when Wash says “I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar.” Crying. Next, the plot. Pure Firefly masterpiece. Everything about it. The coupling, River being the pilot, Zoe having an adorable baby and still being able to make witty and sarcastic comments while she’s bleeding internally, Jayne. Gold. It fits perfectly into the world of Firefly/Serenity and was the best “ending” I could ever want. (I use quotes around ending because it was not written by Joss, but his brother Zack. Not complaining, just stating facts).

I understand that Firefly and Serenity will (probably) never be back on the air, as much as I hope, but these four graphic novels satisfied my need for this rag-tag group of lovable smugglers.



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