Tue
Oct 12 2010 4:39pm

Joss Whedon’s Serenity comics: Better Days, Issue One

Serenity: Better Days issue #1 by Joss WhedonHey there, Browncoats! Sorry it has taken so long for me to get to the other comics in my Firefly Re-Watch, I’ve been busy, both here with stuff and elsewhere. Not to fear, though, over the next couple weeks I’ll cover the three issues of Better Days, as well as Float Out. And, as I mentioned once upon a time, in late November when The Shepherd’s Tale comes out (if it does, wasn’t it set for October originally?), I’ll take a gander at it, too. Not going to do a full summary, but will have some thoughts and coverage. Anyway, let’s leave the world and get to the black, eh? Onward, to issue one!

Super Short Summary Thinger:

The story starts off with Mal and crew doing an art heist, with Simon telling them what is worth stealing, and somewhere else, a high-tech security salesman pitching something that is a cross between ED-209 and the Crimebuster. Of course, it is a live demo, and the defense-bot attacks Mal and crew, who escape, disable it, and then steal it, as it was the real mark of the mission. The client, of course, doesn’t have the promised money, but gives them a lead to where a load of cash is hidden (sound familiar?). Except, this time, instead of being a trap, they find a gorram lot of coin. They now are, Mal realizes, rich.

Meanwhile and elsewhere, Inara is finishing up with a client who is an Alliance officer. Part of the pillowtalk is the officer talking about an old group of browncoats, the Dust Devils, who refused to lay down arms after the war and went full on terrorist, and how he is sent out and about to hunt them down. There is a strong implication that Mal and/or Zoe are on his list.

Oh, and Kaylee moons over Simon some more, and Wash tells her to just go be flat-out blunt to him. Considering we know they aren’t hooked up by movie-time, I think we can all see where this is going.

What I Thought:

Honestly, this is a lot more of awesome pulp action and less on the character development or transition than Those Left Behind was. Then again, this isn’t meant to bridge two stories. It is one that is in media res, but with us already having access (and in many cases, like mine) knowledge of what comes before and after. So I guess there isn’t as much wiggle room for development.

The art is much the same as with the other Dark Horse comic, and from what I’ve glanced through of Float Out, that won’t change, which is good. Yes, I had my little gripes about the art, but at least it will be consistent, which is important to me.

So, all-in-all, this is a pretty nifty beginning to a story, and at least as fresh a take in the middle of the story as we can get, which is more of an examination of what would the crew do if it had way more money than it knew what to do with. Like, not just the nicely set up feeling they had after the hospital gig in “Ariel”, but a “you just won the lottery, have a nice day” kind of set up.

Oh, and dialogue. I found the dialogue here much smoother than in Those Left Behind. I don’t know what it was exactly, but it just flowed easier on my eyes. Yes, Those Left Behind did have good dialogue, but I realized that was only with the voices of the actors in my head. In this, there was more of an objective “this is better written,” without hearing Nathan Fillion or Jewel Staite whispering in my ear. The only time it really jumped was when there was a scene change and they wanted to give the impression of coming in the middle of a conversation, so I guess that works, right?

Anywho, see you next week (I hope and plan), for issue two, which has quite a bit more meat to it.


Richard Fife is a writer, blogger, and target for malfunctioning robotic police. You can find more of his ramblings and some of his short fiction on http://RichardFife.com. You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

4 comments
james loyd
1. gaijin
Oh, what? I'm sorry. My mind wandered and I missed everything after "Jewel Staite whispering in my ear."
Malda
3. Malda
Am I the only one who thinks Mal looks young Alan Alda on that cover?
Malda
4. Paulw
@Malda

No, not really, although I didn't place it until I read your comment. It's a combination of the weird neck and the slightly more pinched than normal face, I think.
Malda
5. Rowanmdm
@Malda & Paulw

It's also the hair, but yeah, totoally young Alan Alda. Huh. Now I want to go Google an actual pic of young Alda and see if he really does look like Fillion.

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