Tue
Oct 19 2010 4:42pm

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

Serenity: Better Days #2What would you do if you had a million dollars? Me? I’d sit on my bum and re-watch Firefly constantly. And when I was done with that, I’d go read a comic book. But heck, you don’t need a million dollars to do that! Look at me. I’m broke, and I watch and read all the time! So, how about we get onto the reading of issue two of Serenity: Better Days, and find out what the crew of our favorite bug-themed spaceship would do if they had more money than sense!

Super (not really) Short Summary Thinger:

The crew sits around the dinning table and fantasizes about what they are going to do with the money. Jayne imagines himself becoming the captain of an independent gunship that even the Alliance kowtows to and is staffed entirely by attractive women. Wash dreams of flying a luxury cruiser and having a little boy with Zoe. Mal demurs, saying that his fantasy would offend Book for all the sexual deviancy it would have, and then tells Wash to go get the ship ready to land, as they are now on vacation on a resort world.

Mal goes to tell Inara, who is in the middle of a call with someone that “wants to see her again,” and whom she wants to see again, but it is a matter of policy. They make an arrangement, though. When she turns to Mal, he tells her they are landing and pokes after what her fantasy would be. She ignores the prod and asks him what the Dust Devils are. Mal explains them as “strong-minded” while the Alliance officer Inara serviced in the previous issue briefs his men about the terrorists and how he laments that Inara ended up involved with one of them.

Elsewhere, the security-bot peddler is torturing the fellow that bought the bot off Mal, and it is revealed that the bot releases a cloud of tracking chips whenever it is shut down unexpectantly. This also lets his underlings locate Serenity.

The girls of the crew go to a spa, and Kaylee tells her fantasy, which would be a mechanic shop for her dad and her that has more compression coils than you could ever need. It also involves Simon, at least in her head. Hubba-hubba. Inara asks River what her fantasy is and, well, you have to see it to truly understand. There is a fish in a tux, and a bunch of Doctor Seuss-looking critters. It is...wow.

The crew is later dining, and Jayne laments over how he can’t get sexed, seeing as the resort doesn’t have whores—it has Companions—and Jayne doesn’t know how to approach one of them. (Earlier, he even asks Simon for advice about it, and Simon proves oddly knowledgeable.) Some random thugs dressed as the wait staff then hold the dining area up, and Mal and company kick their butts and actually get cheered as heroes. This doesn’t make Mal happy, though, as he wanted to keep a low profile. He also notices an Alliance ship landing nearby, and Zoe tells him that it is likely special ops, and that the commander went straight to Inara’s shuttle. Mal gets worried, gets his gun, and gets over there.

Once there, he sees a man leaving the shuttle, but instead of the commander, he is surprised to see that it is Simon. Before he can do more than recognize the doctor, Mal is knocked unconscious and shadowy form looms over him.

What I Thought:

So yeah, as I said, this one has a ton more meat to it, seeing as it doesn’t have a bulk of the pages dedicated to any fights. Even the hold-up only took three pages all told.

I really enjoyed this commentary on the characters by looking at their fantasies. There really isn’t anything too new added to the characters in their dreams, per se, but it was reaffirming to the characters. Yeah, of course Jayne wants to be a captain that the Alliance fears. Of course Wash wants to pilot a luxury liner and have a family, and of course Simon wants to do good things medically and have River at his side. Although, Simon did admit that he wasn’t sure his fantasy was what he really wanted anymore, as he had gotten used to traveling around.

Oh, and I didn’t mention it above, but Book completely pulled one on the crew with his fantasy, where he is more or less Tony Montana. Women, guns, liquor, and drugs. He then says he is only joking and that’d he’d give the money to the abbey. Still...I wonder.

So, the plot is going along at a good clip, we have feds going after Mal for prior war-crimes, a bot-salesman on his way for revenge, and the crew getting pampered. But, what really blew my mind (and still does) is Simon leaving Inara’s shuttle. I want to think it is a red herring, but on the same token, there is a lot of evidence, from the policy comment by Inara, to Simon’s surprising knowledge of how to deal with a Companion.

There is also the fact that hiring a Companion is not a social faux pas in this universe. It isn’t technically prostitution, even if it is still kind of like an escort service. There really hasn’t been any place where it would be shown against Simon’s morality to engage with a Companion. Heck, it almost makes sense. Boy can’t get his tongue untied when around a girl the other way, so it might just make sense that he is better with a set script and arrangement. In short, I am still unsure of exactly what Simon was doing in that shuttle, and even if he was doing what we are meant to think he was doing, I don’t know how I feel about that. It isn’t like we don’t know that he doesn’t eventually get with Kaylee. But, ho-hurm. What would Kaylee think!? Dang you, Dark Horse and Joss Whedon! I need this resolved! (No, it isn’t resolved in any particular way in issue three, but you’ll have to wait for that until next week.)

So, until next week, my little goslings, and to our thrilling conclusion.


Richard Fife is a writer, blogger, and in vast need of a trip to that resort planet. You can read more of his ramblings and some of his short fiction at http://RichardFife.com. You can also follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

2 comments
John Massey
1. subwoofer
Regardless of what, Kaylee would still burn a torch for Simon. No worries there.

Book- heh, that cracked me up, mind you, he did say he wasn't a Sheppard all his life. There is some truth to folks that have a really wild youth finding redemption in the structure of Religion.

River- well, let's face it, she is a few sandwiches shy of a picnic.

Sorry Fifester, you happened to post on a huge WoT day. But I'm here for you. Browncoats Assemble!

Woof™.
a1ay
2. a1ay
Inara asks River what her fantasy is and, well, you have to see it to truly understand. There is a fish in a tux, and a bunch of Doctor
Seuss-looking critters.

To which Zoe responds, IIRC, "Well, that's mine taken."

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