‘Serenity: Those Left Behind’ review
By Brittney MacDonald, Contributor
Serenity: Those Left Behind, a graphic novel compilation of a three-issue comic book series, deals with the events that take place between the end of the cancelled cult television hit, Firefly, and the fan-demanded film, Serenity.
Written by Joss Whedon and Brett Matthews, the graphic novel has a spaghetti western feel with a lot of action. It centres around the crew of the Serenity, a firefly-class cargo ship in space.
The graphic novel is illustrated by Will Conrad and features a very distinctive art style characteristic of modern North American works such as The Exile and the Mass Effect series. This art style is perfect for people new to graphic novels who have a distaste for the harsh lines and cell shading of traditional comic books, yet dislike the stylization of Japanese manga.
It features 96 pages of full-colour panels, each a digital painting unto itself. The smooth gradients and realistic depictions of the series’ original actors go a long way to attract fans of the film and television series without alienating more traditional comic connoisseurs.
For comic fans, the novel also features guest artwork by big names such as Adam Hughes, who is best known for his work in the Catwoman and Before Watchmen series.
The novel captures Whedon’s characteristic sense of humour, featuring realistic, situational comedy that works alongside an often dramatic plot. The story begins with a bank heist gone wrong and a resulting firefight ending in a loss for Captain Mal, Zoe, and Jayne. Meanwhile, the evil corporation, the Hands of Blue, seeks out Serenity—and with it River Tam, the brainwashed psychic warrior and the sister of Simon, Serenity’s ship doctor.
Overall, Serenity: Those Left Behind is a good option for people looking to explore the world of graphic novels.