Serenity: The Shepard's Tale discussion (spoilers welcome)

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Turtletrekker, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Anyone else pick this up today?

    I enjoyed it, but expected more. The individual sequences, all different and various points in Book's life, all seem a little too short to me. I would have liked it to be a little longer.
     
  2. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    Mine is on order from Amazon.
     
  3. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    As much as I love Firefly and Serenity, I really didn't enjoy that first set of comics that came out. These books really suffer from not having the actors actually there to play the parts.
     
  4. Ethros

    Ethros Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I had it on order from Amazon but got an e-mail from them this morning saying it'll be delayed. Then I went to my comic store today to get Buffy s8 #38, and they had it there.
    So swiftly cancelled my Amazon order when I got home :)


    Just finished reading it. Yeah, it was pretty good, but as Turtletrekker said it could do with being longer. When it was announced as a graphic novel I'd expected it to be somewhat thicker. As Larry David would say, its more of a pamphlet.

    I might have to reread to clairfy it all. But I don't get why...
    The Alliance holds him with such reverence when they treat his wounds in Firefly's 'Safe', when here we see he was kicked out of the Alliance military, his superiors very pissed off with him
     
  5. tharpdevenport

    tharpdevenport Admiral Admiral

    Some SPOILERS (what I posted at Whedonesque.com):










    I think Joss (and now Zack) are slipping -- already had msot of this in mind after that comment in "Serenity" between Mal and Book.

    Onlt things that surprised me: just how much he
    helped the Browncoats, and of course the eye
    . Was that
    eye still transmitting
    all this time during the show? Woudl someone know secrets about the Serenity crew, and maybe blackmail them later?


    And remember the canon Whedon trilogy (I think the second trilogy) had a brief page where Book was working on something and a transmission came in saying he had been terminated? He was still working for SOMEbody while onboard Serenity, even after he found his faith and turned his life around. One might say he's still got a grudge somewhere. Maybe even was sent by a Dust Devil(?) that wasn't quite in good standing with Mal, to kill him.


    Just some thoughts.


    Overall I liked it. Felt it was a little empty at times -- it lacked that Joss touch of deeper filling, and more dialogue, often gowing passed scenes too quickly, all in an attempt just to get the story over with faster.


    And as much as Zack praised his artist, those two (or three?) panels with Mal, were hands down THEE WORST characters art in ANY of Whedon's work I have ever seen. Aweful, truly aweful. A re-pressing should feature FIXED art.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Interesting, but I agree it was too cursory. It's nice that the secrets of Book's past aren't what we all expected, but as remarked above, it does raise some continuity questions. I'm assuming this is the backstory Whedon always intended for the character, though.

    It surprises me that he used the name Derrial Book as an Alliance officer. I always assumed it was the name he adopted after abandoning his old life and entering the clergy, and that he picked "Book" because of the Bible. It doesn't make as much sense that he'd use the same name, especially when it was a name that brought him such infamy.

    I wasn't thrilled with the assertion that he was responsible for the biggest Alliance defeat of the war; it kind of works against the original idea of Firefly that it focused on the little guys, the people on the margins of history. I also don't know how I feel about the later revelation that he was working for the Independents all along. I liked the idea of him as a reformed bad guy. Although I guess he still kind of was, considering his ruthlessness and amorality. And the Alliance were only the "bad guys" from a certain point of view; there were people on both sides fighting for what they thought were the right reasons.

    I didn't much care for the art. I don't like that sketchy style that makes it hard to tell one character from another. In the scene in the cave with the conspirators, I couldn't tell whether I was reading a monologue by the leader or a debate between the leader and some other guy.]

    The other thing that bewildered me was the date headings. According to them, Serenity the movie apparently took place nearly four years after, err, "Serenity" the pilot episode. I thought the movie said it had only been eight months.


    I also picked up the Wash one-shot, "Float Out," at the comics store. That was kind of disappointing. The dialogue in the first few pages is painfully stilted with exposition, and the stories about Wash are too cursory. But the last few pages were very moving. Even though I noticed the last page when I was looking through it at the store, so I was technically spoiled, once I came upon the moment in context, it really affected me.
     
  7. Colonel Midnight

    Colonel Midnight Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Out of curiosity (and admittedly slightly OT), do any of these comics explain why Mal knows so much about the Reavers?

    It kinda strikes me odd after watching the pilot "Serenity" and "Bushwhacked" that he's so knowledgeable about their methods, etc. Perhaps his home moon/planet was hit by them?

    *curious*

    Cheers & Thanks if so,
    -CM-
     
  8. tharpdevenport

    tharpdevenport Admiral Admiral

    No, none do. And this Book thing is a graphic hard cover; more pages, no ads.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But not that many more pages. From the look of the thing, I was expecting it to take me a fair portion of the evening to read, but I finished it in 15 minutes. Most of its thickness is the cover. (Literally. The whole thing is 9 mm thick, but only 4 mm of that is the actual pages.) The story is only 48 pages long, and it costs $14.99 plus tax. That's over 31 cents per page. I should've waited until they reprinted it in paperback or collected it with "Float Out."
     
  10. tharpdevenport

    tharpdevenport Admiral Admiral

    That's about twice as thick, as I recall, than Zack's "Terminator: 1984".

    Whedon (Zack or Joss) should just hire John Cassaday as their in-resident comic art provider.
     
  11. Ethros

    Ethros Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Can't see how that's possible, when the run isn't even finished yet, nevermind the TPB been out. The TPB for Terminator: 2029 isn't even out yet.
    Are you referring to This? Which isn't a TPB, its just a regular comic (#1 of 3)

    Shephards Tale had about 56 pages or so, with a regular comic being 22 pages of art its out 2.5 issues worth. Still could and should have been longer though IMO
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That includes a title page, two pages of credits, an inside "cover" illustration, and two essentially blank pages at the front, plus an afterword and a page advertising other Dark Horse Whedon titles at the end. (Plus two heavier white sheets between the hard covers and the glossy pages.) There are only 48 pages of actual story.
     
  13. Ethros

    Ethros Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well it was a guess :)
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Good guess. Discounting the heavier white sheets, it has exactly 56 pages in all.
     
  15. Ethros

    Ethros Vice Admiral Admiral

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    On the subject of Firefly/Serenity comics, the 9 page short story 'Serenity: Downtime' is now available on the USA Today site, and you can read it for free Right Here

    It's nothing a major, just a fun little story of an average day on Serenity
     
  16. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^Ha! I enjoyed the 8 pages of Downtime as much as the entirety of The Shepard's Tale. God, I miss this show and these characters.
     
  17. Ethros

    Ethros Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Don't really know how I feel about The Shepard's Tale tbh. I'll probably need to read it again, but I'm not sure if I'll consider it "canon" as it were when rewatching Firefly for example.
    As mainly the whole secret-Browncoat-spy stuff raises more questions than it answers, and the getting-kicked-out-of-the-very-pissied-off-Alliance thing doesn't make sense with how he's treated in the show.
    So I'd rather just believe what I imagined before, that Book was a former badass Alliance operative (like the chap in the movie) who then somehow got out of the job and found God. That'll do.
     

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