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Hard even for a Browncoat to enjoy
on February 6, 2006
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. That is not a small thing, but the problem is that there just isn't much of a story. In fact, the whole thing feels more like an outline of a story rather than a story.
Do I recommend this to fellow Browncoats? I guess I don't. Now, if someone had told me not to get it, I would probably have ignored him or her and gotten it anyway, so I won't blame any FIREFLY fan wanting this as well. But while the series and the movie are things I treasure, this is a story I may never look at again. So while I don't recommend it, any real fan of the show is going to want to own it. Then we can all be disappointed together while we await word as to whether the DVD sales of the movie will be sufficient to bring about a made for TV movie or mini-series.