Serenity: Those Left Behind
Writer: Joss Whedon
Distributed By: Dark Horse Comics
Reviewed by Ismael Manzano
Well hello there all of you in the world wide wandering web of wonder. Once again, I present to you all, my friends, my family, and stalkers, a review of a graphic novel. This graphic novel is brought to you by Dark Horse Comics and is set in the futuristic ‘verse of the Firefly series, created and made famous by our beloved lord and master—or just mine—Joss Whedon of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame.
This graphic novel, entitled, Serenity: Those Left Behind, takes place right after the series ended and effectively bridges the gap between the series and the Serenity movie. All of your favorite characters are back in this action-packed installment of Serenity, and Captain Reynolds is once again stuck between the blackness of space and the cold hand of the Alliance.
The story begins with a botched job in which Mal is duped out of his earning by a group of malcontents. This leads to more discontent between Mal and the rest of the crew, but more so between Book and Inara, and when Mal questions Book’s faith and refuses to take Inara to her ‘client’ in lieu of pursuing another job, two of his shipmates decide that its time part ways.
The job involves combing through the wreckage of one of the bloodiest battles of the long-finished war and stealing money that had never arrived to its destination. But when an old enemy—I’m not going to spoil it for you—joins forces with the infamous, “Two-hands-of-blue,” from the series, even a seemingly simple job can have perilous consequences. Can the crew of Serenity survive this latest threat unscathed, while holding their fragile extended family together?
The graphic novel offers not only a great story, but some great conceptual artwork and a history of the universe as it will stand in 2516 AD, which any true fan of the show will love. All in all, I liked the graphic novel a lot. The characters are done well and are captured wonderfully, with the same flare and uniqueness as the series and movie. The rendering is mostly dead on, with the exception of Inara, who does not look anything like the beautiful Morena Baccarin.
My only problem with the graphic novel is that, while it is a decent story and I loved seeing some of my favorite characters back for one last ride, I found that there were no real big revelations and no real justification for its existence. Yes, it does explain what happened when the series ended and what led up to the events of the movie, but those facts themselves were not entirely sufficient to support a graphic novel. Most of the questions I found myself asking at the start of the movie—like why Inara and Book left—were not nearly as important as the adventure that followed and the details are little more than footnotes in the grander scheme of the ‘verse. But it was a great read and all real fans of the show and the movie will have to have this graphic novel, just so they can tie up the loose ends and enjoy the full experience that is Serenity.