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Serenity, Vol. 2: Better Days Paperback – October 7, 2008
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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When Whedon’s beloved TV show Firefly was canceled, fans were left with a little spaceship-shaped hole in their hearts. This second entry in the Serenity comic-book series, which essentially presents new episodes in graphic format, should help mollify them. Whedon’s sensibility works well here, as primary hero/rogue Mal Reynolds and his crew balance snarky asides and verbal sparring with cloaked sentimentality and plenty of western-styled space-opera action. While most of the in-jokes, character quirks, and background references will only resonate with those already in the know, that is a pretty sizable—and hungry—population in its own right. Grades 9-12. --Ian Chipman
About the Author
Joss Whedon was born in New York City in 1964. He started out as a staff writer for the 1990s sitcom Roseanne and worked on films, including Toy Story. In 1992 he penned the script for a film, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and when the TV version starring Sarah Michelle Gellar took off in 1997, Whedon had his big break—with its female action heroine, Buffy, became a huge hit. Whedon wrote hundreds of episodes for Buffy and its spin-off Angel, and was nominated for Emmy and Hugo awards for his work. Whedon has come to enjoy a cult following. The author lives in Santa Monica, California.
Patton Oswalt is a comedian, actor, author, and screenwriter. Oswalt is perhaps best known as the voice of Remy the rat in the film, Ratatouille, but he also gained prominence during the '90s as one of the premier West Coast stand-up comedians. Oswalt's albums Feelin' Kinda Patton, Werewolves and Lollipops, and My Weakness Is Strong are staples of the genre. Oswalt has also been featured in The King of Queens, Big Fan, Young Adult, and The Goldbergs.
Zack Whedon is a film director and writer for television and comic books. Whedon was educated at Wesleyan University. He began his TV writing career with the HBO show Deadwood and has written and produced a number of other high-profile projects. In the comic book world, Whedon is known for his work on Serenity, The Terminator, and Dr. Horrible. He is the brother of Joss Whedon.
Brett Matthews is a television writer and producer best known for his work on The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural. He also wrote two comic book prequels in the Serenity franchise: Serenity: Those Left Behind and Serenity: Better Days.
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The book itself is also an odd size, very small and thin, making the $10 price seem even more egregious than the 15 minutes it took to read the thing.
Still, a look into what could have been had Fox not blown it with the series. For hardcore browncoats only.
And for Mal and his crew, we watch them go through one or the other of these with every adventure.
Artistically, this is very rich, even if the likenesses are not perfect. I've covered this topic in my "Leaves On The Wind" review, and also in "Those Left Behind", so I won't further it here.
Spending time in this universe really is a joy. It is always fun, even if the adventures aren't always gripping and terrifying and amazing. Sometimes life is not so grand. I think the nature of that reality shows up in these graphic novels.
I enjoyed the story, but it was lacking in some qualities. But I am glad they are producing these efforts nonetheless.
True fans will enjoy it. Time spent with friends is never wasted, even if it is a make believe universe.
So put on your Browncoat, strap on your favourite weapon, and step into the stars...