What Is It?: Serenity- Behind TPB (Written by Brett Matthews and Joss Whedon, meant to bridge "Firefly" and "Serenity.")
Timing: Between "Firefly" and "Serenity."
REVIEW (and Art): While the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight" comics make me feel like I'm hanging out with old buddies, this trade paperback feels more like a phone call from an old friend. Not that I was ever as big a Firefly/Serenity fan as I am of Buffy/Angel, that's a given, but I won't say I didn't expect a little more from this. Here, I'll break it down with an old fashioned list of + and -
+ All of the characters are written and drawn pretty well, and each is given the amount of screen time they deserve.
+ The comics (there are only three of them) collected in this book tell interesting stories, and the end is particularly poignant.
+It reads like a lost episode of Firefly, bridging the series and the movie, and--ask any fan--there's nothing wrong with a new Firefly episode.
- I don't know if it's just me on this, but it irks me that the size of this book is different than that of normal trade paperbacks. I'm not talking thickness, I'm talking height. This is a short book, closer to the size of a DVD than a trade paperback collection. It looks kind of out of place next to my other trades, and I find myself wishing it was bigger. But, I digress. (NOTE: The hardcover has now been released, so this problem is void. You'd be senseless not to by the hardcover. It comes complete with new art and a mess load of extras.
- It's kinda boring. No new ground is really covered.
- The only real complaint I can think of is also something I mentioned in the positives: "It reads like a lost episode of Firefly, bridging the series and the movie." While that is good and all, the fact is that it reads like an OKAY episode of Firefly. It reads like "The Train Job," expect even still, not as interesting.
I love Joss Whedon and I (with perhaps a bit of a bias) believe he is the best writer of our age, but I am not as enthusiastic about Firefly/Serenity as the Browncoats (super F/S fans) tend to be. The show was great, the movie was great, but I just think that Buffy and Angel were leagues better. I liked this trade, and I'll read the next one if there ever is a next one. However, I'd be lying if I didn't say that I wish Joss would just concentrate on the getting "Buffy Season Eight"--and now "Ripper" and "Dollhouse."
Characters We Know: Book, Mal, Jayne, Zoe, Wash, Kaylee, Simon, River, Inara, and (SPOILERS:) Lawrence Dobson, The Hands of Blue, Badger, and The Operative