What Is It?: Serenity: Better Days #2 (written by Joss Whedon and Brett Matthews)
Timing: Follows "Serenity: Better Days #1"
REVIEW: I didn't really expect much. The first Serenity miniseries, Those Left Behind, was a bit boring, and the first issue of "Better Days" was actually pretty bad. But this issue, the second of the series, really pulled a rabbit out of the hat. For the first time since Serenity, the movie, I felt as if I were truly experiencing these characters again.
Though this issue really seems to act as a bridge between #1 and what will happen in #3, there is a very strong story line here. All of the characters go to a vacation resort, eager to spend their new wealth. Seeing what each of these characters envisions doing with their money (especially Book, River, and Jayne) makes for hilarious--and sometimes touching, in Kaylee's case--character moments. Unlike the first issue, writers Joss Whedon and Brett Matthews begin to tread new water with these characters by having people interacting that we didn't often get to see interact during the show.
Overall, this is a surprisingly huge improvement over the first issue. If Joss, Brett, and Will are able to keep up the momentum for the third and final issue, this series will surpass "Those Left Behind."
Art: The art is good, for the most part. Will Conrad excels at capturing the character's likenesses as well as drawing beautiful settings, but he is quite awful at drawing action. Much like in the first issue, I was baffled by what was going on during the 'main action scene' of the comic. After pouring over the page for a moment or so, it clicked, but Conrad should truly work at how he portrays action and even movement. The cover is every bit as ugly as the first one, making all of the characters look half-realistic and half-cartoony, making the end result look rather disturbing.