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Serenity, Vol. 1: Those Left Behind Paperback – January 24, 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 282 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in the Serenity Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

With the war between the Alliance and the independent Browncoats over, Mal Reynolds, captain of the Serenity, and his crew of misfits, fugitives, and would-be outlaws work the frontier. Defeated and directionless, their goal has become simply to keep flying, and Mal is willing to take any job, in- or outside the law, to achieve it. Although their willingness to flout rules has occasionally played to their favor, they may be in over their heads in taking aboard Simon and his damaged sister, River, secretive fugitives from the Alliance. Mal and his crew may not know it, but the hunt is on, and the Alliance is right behind them. Whedon elaborates on his Firefly universe in this small prequel to the movie Serenity. If this story doesn't have much in the way of plot or background, an aura of character study suffuses it, enlightening Serenity newcomers while warming the hearts of fans. Will Conrad's slick and fluid artwork captures the essence of how the film actors realized the characters without losing comic-book feel. Tina Coleman
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About the Author

Laura Martin has written more than 15 gardening and crafts books. She is a frequent lecturer and has appeared on QVC, " Victory Garden," and "Our Home."

The Marvel and Other Short Stories is a collected anthology of six short stories written by the winners of the Austin Macauley World Book Day short story competition.

Allie writes and edits comics and stories for Dark Horse Comics and other publishers. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife Melinda and their phantom cat, Shadow.

Laura Martin has written more than 15 gardening and crafts books. She is a frequent lecturer and has appeared on QVC, " Victory Garden," and "Our Home."

Laura Martin has written more than 15 gardening and crafts books. She is a frequent lecturer and has appeared on QVC, " Victory Garden," and "Our Home."

Allie writes and edits comics and stories for Dark Horse Comics and other publishers. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife Melinda and their phantom cat, Shadow.

The Marvel and Other Short Stories is a collected anthology of six short stories written by the winners of the Austin Macauley World Book Day short story competition. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Books (January 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593074492
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593074494
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (282 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
Well, I unfortunately have to add my negative review to the other disappointed FIREFLY/SERENITY/Whedon fans below. Like many of the others reviewing here, I am a huge fan of both the series FIREFLY and the film SERENITY, so I was eager to enjoy a new adventure of Mal and his crew. I ordered this with great excitement and finished it with considerable sadness. I had hoped that this might equal in quality some of Whedon's other projects on Dark Horse, but this was easily one of the weakest. The problem isn't the artwork. It is gorgeous to look at and the characters all look quite like the real life models (not that that is a necessary measure of quality). The problem was the utterly uninspiring story.

Here is my suspicion: I'm guessing that the novel partly arose from an unfilmed, partially scripted episode from the television series, and a not terribly good episode at that. Many of the scenes seem to merely mimic scenes to be found in the series and the film, while the scenes that are completely original simply aren't very inspired. The story is also very unbalanced. If you read writing guides on how to write a TV script or a film script or a short story one rule of thumb is that a script needs to have three to five acts (depending on the writing coach). This graphic story feels as if Act One takes up the first two thirds of the book, with too little space devoted to the climax, and an act or two missing. To be honest, it doesn't feel like a completed story at all.

So does the book have any redeeming values? As I stated above, it is a well-drawn story. The problem is entirely the story, not the art. Storywise, it does provide some filler between the end of the series and before the start of the action in the movie.
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Format: Paperback
This graphic novel serves as a useful bridge between the final episode of "Firefly" and the film "Serenity." As a Browncoat, I've found it especially useful for showing new fans of the series because it answers the questions that they'd have from the last episode and the film (which starts everyone off on a different note than they were left in the show). For instance: "When and why did Book leave the ship?" This book isn't going to take the place of the television show for the fans that want to see our Big Damn Heroes played by the actors themselves, but it serves as the final episode that they were never able to make.
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Format: Paperback
Quick admission: I'm a huge fan of the Firefly TV series and "Serenity". I think both were horribly underappreciated, and can't understand why they weren't more successful.

This graphic novel was penned by Joss Whedon, so the dialog, tone, and timing are dead on. In many ways, reading Serenity: Those Left Behind is like watching an unaired episode of the TV show. The story deals with the events that take place after the final episode of Firefly: Objects in Space, but before the movie. All of the Serenity crew are in fine form, and even several characters from past episodes show up.

The only reason I can't give this book a 5 is the art. I'm not a big fan of the artist. While I can definitely understand the difficulty of drawing a comic based on real people, I've seen better.

All in all, a great story, and a must-have for all Firefly/Serenity fans!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The plot of Those Left Behind was probably intended to be an early-season-2 episode of Firefly that unfortunately was never shot. As such, it features a job gone bad, an enemy from the past, and some fancy fightin' and flyin'. This, of course, translates quite well to the graphic novel medium. The illustration and dialogue are both well done and true to the series.
The true gem of this work, though, is Joss' Brief History of the Universe, Circa 2516. It explains a lot of things about his high-concept vision of Firefly and Serenity, and how the world came to be as it was. This information was never conveyed in the series explicitly, and although it was implied, it was quite nice to have it all spelled out.
I am looking forward to future Serenity graphic novels, as I, like many others, feel the show was cancelled far to soon and there are plenty of stories left to tell about these characters.
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Format: Paperback
As you are probably getting from other reviews there is sort of a mixed bag here. I won't be saying much different myself. What it boils down to is if you are interested in knowing what happened between the television series Firefly and the movie Serenity you get your answer here. The downside is the plot of this little graphic novel is not Joss Whedon's best.

Essentially this book puts together all three comics from the Serenity comic book mini-series that came out a little bit before the movie. The artwork is great. The dialog flows exactly as if you were watching an episode of Firefly. You also get a couple questions a few fans have been answering like how/when did Sheppard Book leave and what happened to the men with the blue gloves?

What limits the book is the main story around this. It's rather cliche and kind of comes from way out into left field. It doesn't make too much sense if you think about it and it really doesn't further the Firefly story. Keep in mind I'm talking about the main story and conflict of this series. Not those questions this series answers for fans.

So... should you buy this graphic novel or not? I say if you're a fan of the Firefly series and have the money burning in your pocket then go for it. Granted the comic book series probably has more collectable value (especially the alternate covers), but this book puts it all in one convenient place.

If you never been exposed to Firefly, but saw the movie and liked it then you got a situation because this book will answer questions you never asked, so then you're stuck with a weak plotline. You're better off saving for the Firefly DVD set, which is well worth the expense. If you never seen either the movie or the series, but are a comic fan... well just pass this one up.
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