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Joss Whedon – Serenity: Those Left Behind

November 13, 2009

133. Those Left Behind by Joss Whedon, Brett Matthews, Will Conrad, Laura Martin, Michael Heisler, and Adam Hughes (2007)
Serenity Graphic Novels, Vol. 1

Length: 96 pages
Genre: Graphic Novel, Sci-Fi

Started: 30 October 2009
Finished: 30 October 2009

Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? I’m a huge Firefly fan, and after recently rewatching the series I thought I’d give the comics a try.

Serenity flies
again, off your TVs and
into the movie.

Summary: Set after the last episode of Firefly and before Serenity the movie, Those Left Behind goes a long way to filling in that gap in the storyline of everybody’s favorite space cowboys. After (yet another) job goes south, Mal and his crew once again find themselves low on cash and high on tension. They’re at desperate ends – desperate enough to accept another job from Badger – during which they run up against an enemy from their past while barely staying one step ahead of the Feds.

This volume also includes a foreword by Nathan Fillion and a memo from Joss Whedon to the Serenity production team describing the Firefly universe.

Review: Those Left Behind is meant to be interstitial, to fill in fans as to how things got to be the way they are at the beginning of the movie – in particular, the circumstances surrounding Shepherd Book and Inara’s departures. However, even if its main purpose is gap-filling, there still could have been a little more story to the story; the plot here is about that of an average Firefly episode, and while it probably would have been fine on film, it felt a little bit thin on paper.

The script and the dialogue were well-done; Firefly’s got the most distinct patois of any of Whedon’s shows, and the characters’ distinct voices make the transition to paper well. However, I wasn’t crazy about the artwork. There’s a distinct range of how much characters look like themselves, from Book and Zoe, who are instantly recognizable in almost all of their panels, to Jane, who looks like a comic-ified version of himself (i.e. the head:bicep ratio is steadily decreasing), to Simon, who is identifiable only by his vests. All-in-all, though, it was an enjoyable read, even if it wasn’t quite everything I’d hoped for. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: For Firefly fans only; there’s no backstory or explanation given for the newbies. For dedicated fans, though, it’s a nice chance to spend some more time with Cap’n Tightpants and crew, whatever the reason.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

Other Reviews: Book Dweeb, Experiments in Reading, J. Kaye’s Book Blog, Libri Touches, Multi-Genre Fan, Once Upon a Bookshelf
Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

First Line: “And so I say to you on this fine day, citizens of Constance, that your lives are not defined by that with which you enter this world, but rather with what you leave behind on it.”

Cover Thoughts: Why does no one have anything below the waist except their holsters?

13 Comments leave one →
  1. November 13, 2009 8:40 am

    I wasn’t in love with Those Left Behind either. The other one – I can’t think what it’s called! – the one that takes place right after the episode “Trash”. I like that one much, much better. It doesn’t feel thinly plotted to me; just feels like an episode of Firefly.

    • November 13, 2009 12:49 pm

      Jenny – I’ve got the other one (whose name I am also blanking on) on hold at the library, so soon enough we’ll see if I agree with you. :)

  2. November 14, 2009 1:00 am

    Haven’t heard of this Firefly series thing at all … so your saying that I shouldn’t read this Graphic Novel unless I’m are a die-hard fan.

    • November 15, 2009 11:19 am

      fyrebyrd – I don’t think it would make much sense unless you’ve seen the series, no.

  3. November 14, 2009 1:02 am

    I’m very confusing, aren’t I?(And apparently bad at giving directions, the curse of being a thinking people can reading you mind person!!!)

  4. November 14, 2009 10:12 am

    What a coincidence! I just started re-watching Firefly on Hulu and then I’m going to watch Serenity again when I’m done. I had no idea they did a comic series to fill in the gaps. I am off to the library to see if I can find it.

    • November 15, 2009 11:21 am

      Kim – I didn’t know you were a Firefly fan! (The more the merrier!) Do you watch Castle? The Halloween episode had the first two minutes involving Nathan Fillion back in his Captain Mal costume, which cracked me up.

      • November 15, 2009 5:43 pm

        I loved Firefly when I watched a couple years ago! I don’t watch Castle, but I did find the episode you were talking about. It warmed my heart, especially the “Didn’t you wear that like five years ago?” I love being on the right side of an inside joke :)

      • November 15, 2009 5:45 pm

        Kim – Heh, me too! I also loved that they had the Firefly-style guitar playing in the background.

  5. November 19, 2009 10:56 pm

    I had no idea there were graphic novels! I must get these for my husband, who’s a huge fan and even made me a fan of the series.

    And jumping in to say that I LOVE Castle. The Mal scene in the Halloween episode was priceless.

    • November 20, 2009 9:33 am

      Alita – Joss Whedon just seems to be unable to stay away from comic adaptations of his shows… which is lucky for us, because they’re usually pretty good. :)


  1. Mini Reviews to End 2009
  2. Serenity Comics by Joss Whedon and others

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