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Customer Review

500 of 547 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard even for a Browncoat to enjoy, February 6, 2006
This review is from: Serenity, Vol. 1: Those Left Behind (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. 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.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 8, 2007 11:54:10 AM PDT
Phreddy Tran says:
After reading this review, I did as Robert predicted and bought the comic book anyway. I found Robert's criticism to be 100% dead-on accurate. I would also add that a couple of elements in the comic book were later developed into elements of the film (the opening vehicle chase, the spaceship graveyard). Without the confines of a TV show, the comic book would have been a great opportunity to develop characters and scenes in depth. Unfortunately, the opposite is true -- this feels lighter weight than any of the episodes.

Posted on Dec 19, 2008 11:42:58 AM PST
J.Bird says:
Agreed. I won't say I didn't enjoy it, but I knew it wasn't going to be a good heavy story. I knew it was going to be just filler. There was so much story in between the series and the film...

I can't even mull it over. In short, I agree 100% with Robert's review. It's more of an outline of events than an actual story. A must-have for diehard fans (for example, I'm not sad that I spent money on it, just disappointed in its lost potential), but 'buyer beware'.

Posted on Feb 26, 2012 12:22:32 PM PST
I found the collection of Serenity books quite enjoyable and much better than this review makes them out to be. Also, I was a bit surprised to find this same review - word for word - on several other Serenity book pages. Clearly this reviewer is just not a fan of the novels. I would suggest any serious fan would like to read them.

Posted on Aug 13, 2013 8:27:59 AM PDT
I agree with almost everything said here, except the well-drawn part. The character portraits themselves are well-drawn, but the panels themselves are dreadful.

I've read my share of comics, and no other graphic novel forced me to turn back pages wondering if I missed something. I had to turn back twice to realize that Kaylee attached the hook to the water tower that Wash pulls down. The second beef was the Men with Blue Hands and breaching of Serenitys hull. At first they breach the hull, then they get knocked down below the cargo deck in serenity's "bowels" then amazingly they are back on their ship after Wash scrapes them off. And then finally these fearful characters are to stupid to avoid the engine wash of a firefly? Come on.
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Review Details



Robert Moore

Location: Little Rock, AR USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 327