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March 25, 2010

Princess Powerful Attacks: Serenity: Better Days

In a previous review, we discussed the origins of the television series Firefly.  It was created by Joss Whedon, who is best known for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series.  The television show focused on the crew of a Firefly-class transporter ship called Serenity who make a living off of money they receive from doing legal and (mostly) illegal jobs.  The Alliance are after Serenity’s new crew members Simon and River Tam for some reason, so they must remain hidden to avoid being captured.  In 2005, Firefly was succeeded by the film Serenity, which reveals the reason why the Alliance is after River.

Dark Horse Comics published another adaptation of the series called Serenity: Better Days, which takes place after the Firefly episode “Objects in Space,” and before the events of the film’s comic book prequel Serenity: Those Left Behind.

Title: Serenity: Betters Days
Writer: Joss Whedon and Brett Matthews
Art: Will Conrad
Color: Michelle Madsen
Letters: Michael Heisler
Cover: Adam Hughes and Will Conrad (Dark Horse Comics Special Edition)
Issue: #1 (A, B) – 23
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Pages: 32
Price: $2.99
Release Date: March – May 2008

“After the Earth was used up, we found a new solar system and hundreds of new Earth were terraformed and colonized.  The central planets formed the Alliance and decided all the planets had to join under their rule.  There was some disagreement on that point.  After the War, many of the Independents who had fought and lost drifted to the edges of the system, far from Alliance control.  Out here, people struggled to get by with the most basic technologies; a ship would bring you work, a gun would help you keep it.  A captain’s goal was simple: find a crew, find a job, keep flying.” –Serenity: Better Days book synopsis

In exchange for the Serenity crew pulling off a job, they’re informed of hidden treasure that’s hidden underneath a Buddha statue in a temple.  They retrieve the money successfully and soon find out that the sum is more than what they expected!  The now wealthy crew members store the cash in their secret hiding place, and take a vacation on a luxury planet.

Meanwhile, one of Inara’s “clients”, named Ephraim, is an Alliance special operations agent who captures Independent terrorists called Dust Devils.  He mistakes Mal (the ship’s Captain played by actor Nathan Fillion in the movie and TV show) for a Dust Devil and captures him, so the Serenity crew gears up to save him.

Side Notes: The Serenity: Better Days covers were drawn as a triptych featuring the Serenity crew in groups of three standing over mounds of money.  The first issue had an alternate cover drawn by Will Conrad to celebrate Dark Horse 100 Special Edition, and a pencil version of the alternate version was sold by Dark Horse and California Browncoats at Comic-Con in San Diego 2008 to benefit the Kids Need To Read charity organization.   The book was later reprinted in trade paperback/hardcover format with the cover illustrated by Jo Chen.

I felt excited knowing that each issue of Serenity: Better Days could be combined into an inviting triptych image.  I love Adam Hughes’s artwork, so I’m shocked that I have a complaint with his cover for Serenity: Better Days: each character’s hands drew me away from the picture, because there wasn’t a consistent amount of modeling as other secondary focal points in the picture.  The artwork inside was a hit or miss on some panels, but the writing made up for it.  I found it interesting that Inara imagined that she was with Mal whenever she was around Ephraim in the comic book.

“I am a leaf on the wind, watch how I soar.”

A new Serenity comic book called Serenity: Float Out, written by Patton Oswalt, will focus on Wash and the crew of Serenity in another adventure.  It will feature artwork by Patric Reynolds and Dave Stewart, with Jo Chen and Frank Stockton illustrating covers A & B.  Serenity: Float Out #1 is set to be released this June.

Prior to the 2007 Browncoat Cruise, a Firefly convention held on a cruise ship, Ron Glass asked Joss Whedon information on his character Shepherd Book’s past.  Whedon informed him of Book’s past and gave permission to announce a new Serenity comic book based on it called Serenity: The Shepherd’s Tale. The comic book was put on hold for not having an appropriate writer until Joss Whedon appointed his brother Zack (Dr. Horrible, Terminator) for the project later in 2009.  Chris Samnee will illustrate Serenity: The Shepherd’s Tale which will be in stores this November.

Serenity: Better Days is a great comic book that tailors as a continuation of Firefly/Serenity, so the series would be a great purchase for any Browncoats.

Princess Powerful
princesspowerful@comicattack.net

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9 Comments


  1. infinite speech

    Better Days is a title that I kicked myself in the face for not picking up when it came out. I enjoyed the tv series and the movie and wanted to continue the story. I already put in my order for Sheperd’s Tale



  2. I’m so glad you’re covering this. I just finished watching Firefly for the first time. I can’t wait go pick these up.



  3. I enjoyed this series too!

    Woah that’s awesome about the two new Serenty titles coming out this year- I had no clue!!

    …but I don’t really follow you on the hands complaint…?



  4. Social comments and analytics for this post…

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  5. Princess Powerful

    Andy: Their hands looks like they came from another body. I guess it’s a subtle thing or something, b/c I didn’t catch it until after a while. :/

    Andrew, wikipedia has them all listed ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serenity_(comics ). I go there if I don’t catch it on Whedonesque.com first. ^_^



  6. Just FYI, there was another alternate version of the Better Days #1 cover. Dark Horse and the California Browncoats produced 5000 copies to benefit Kids Need To Read.



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  8. Billy

    I really liked the trailer for Serenity but never went to see it. I’ll have to rent it! 🙂


  9. Princess Powerful

    Billy, be prepared of being blown away 🙂



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