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Serenity Volume 3: The Shepherd's Tale Hardcover – November 16, 2010
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To put it bluntly, I am very disappointed. The biggest problem is the extremely short length. You could easily fit all the text on a single page and I could tell you the whole story in 60 seconds. One would expect a book published with the purpose of filling in the gaps of a story to do the thing properly. This doesn't even come close. Furthermore, there are a number of inconsistencies, and we arguably end up with more questions than before.
/* SLIGHT SPOILER */
We know that Book had ties to the Alliance (from that Firefly episode where they heal his wounds), but we find out that there was a "falling out" and they (quite literally) threw him out. Why they would treat him as a VIP, save his life and then let them go (as was done in Firefly) is a complete mystery and we're, once again, left hanging.
/* END SPOILER */
Basically, this is a bad fanfic. Save your money and pretend it doesn't exist.
There is nothing about this comic book that warrants it to be a published comic book where they charge people money. There is no story to speak of (unless you count a screwy plan to turn Shepherd Book into a cyborg double agent....which is actually the climax of the comic) and the artwork literally looks like the storyboards for a movie that were drawn up over coffee just before filming. (The artist might have great talent, I don't know, but it's definitely not in the comic.)
The biggest point of a Shepherd Book comic is obviously to reveal (a) what horrible sins he committed that he was repenting for throughout the series and (b) why the Alliance held him in such high esteem that they overlooked his involvement with a gang of thugs to give him VIP medical care. The comic book does a lousy job of answering the first and doesn't answer the second and, in fact, contradicts the TV show.
The first point was based off of an enigmatic incident in the episode 'Safe'. In that episode, Shepherd Book has been wounded and, hoping for some mercy, the crew takes him to an Alliance spaceship that has medical facilities. The Alliance rejects their plea for help until they look at Shepherd's "ident-card" at which point he's given emergency VIP treatment. Why would the Alliance treat some religious guy with such esteem?
So, you think that maybe Shepherd is maybe some sort of Alliance spy. Or maybe he was an assassin and did a favor for some high-level Alliance politician and that's the sin he's repenting for, too. (This latter notion would also match up with what Shepherd said in the movie, 'Serenity'.Read more ›
As someone else pointed out, the big question from the tv show, namely why is Book given a warm reception on the alliance ship, isn't even answered. It actually seems to contradict the show. It isn't worth $14.99 or even $8.49 with the Amazon discount. There is no reason this couldn't have been a $5.99 double issue, other than to exploit die-hard fans. If you have tons of cash, you're already gonna order this, but if you are a Serenity/Firefly fan on a budget, you are gonna feel ripped off. Please just browse this in a store and see for yourself.
The number one reason why the story seemed a little off to me is that it was simply FAR to short. You get a brief overview of events without any real detail and then all of the sudden you are back another six years further into the past of Shepherd Book. Although what was in the book was enjoyable I was inevitably disappointed by the lack of material. It was like being able to only look at pictures from someones past when you know there is a movie about it somewhere, it was insufficient.
On the same point, the chronology seems strange. This is not to say it is right, it is just hard to put into context when all that has been written about the universe is confined to a small time period. This is the end of what normally constitutes a review for a book so you can stop here with me saying a nice read but overall somewhat disappointing knowing the amount of depth of the character that could have been explored and the cost of the book.
Now to my second complaint.Please if you are going to read this part read to the end so you understand why I am saying what I am saying, besides my desire to discuss the issue.
The way the book handles race is atrocious. No where do you meet people any people who are not white except when it fits into a modern stereotype. The story is set 500 years into the future, and manages to show women in equal or at least somewhat more equal status, yet it fails to show race progressing past the stereotypical surface point that it now occupies.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of my favorite characters from Firefly comes to life in this book about Shepherd Book. This book begins after the movie Serenity, but chronicles the tale of the Shepherd in the... Read morePublished 11 days ago by R. Lew
First, let me point out that these graphic novels are practically unreadable on Kindle. I have several Kindles and even on my Kindle Fire, I had to resist the temptation to get out... Read morePublished 18 days ago by Russell R. Bateman Jr.
Far and away the weakest of the Firefly/Serenity comics continuations. I'll give Joss this, he said that if he didn't get another movie or show with Firefly he would tell us fans... Read morePublished 19 days ago by Focht
This graphic novel truly shows feelings of worship, spirituality, and one's smallness in the world. it follows Shepherd Book in a backwards chronology to see why he approaches... Read morePublished 1 month ago by J. Marts
At last, the question of "Who is Book?" is answered, and very satisfyingly. I really enjoyed reading this, and it finally laid a major question from the series to rest.Published 1 month ago by Cara
An interesting version of what Book's backstory could have been. As a Browncoat, you are always wanting more Firefly, but without the original cast nothing ever seems good enough. Read morePublished 1 month ago by M Sughroue
Being a Firefly/Serenity fan I found this to be a very well written background history on one of my favorite characters.Published 2 months ago by Etrela