Tuesday, December 24, 2013

[BOOK REVIEW] Serenity: Better Days by Joss Whedon and Brett Matthews

Title:  Serenity:  Better Days

Authors: Joss Whedon and Brett Matthews

Artist:  Will Conrad

Genre: Science Fiction / Action / Adventure / Comedy

Year Published: 2008

Year Read: 2013

Series:  Serenity #2

Publisher: Dark Horse Books

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 13+ (Fight Scenes)


After reading the first volume “Serenity: Those Left Behind,” I was determined to read up on all the “Serenity” comics being made by Joss Whedon after the TV series “Firefly” was abruptly cancelled.  Now, I finally got a chance to read the second volume of the “Serenity” series called “Serenity: Better Days” and man, was it one hilarious and action-packed volume!

What is this story about?

When the crew of Serenity ended up finding a huge pile of cash, they all start having daydreams about what they will do with the money while at the same time, taking a nice vacation.  Unfortunately, a soldier who is out for vengeance on the “dust devils” (terrorists who work within the Independents) is doing everything in his power to ambush the crew of Serenity.

What I loved about this story:

Joss Whedon and Brett Matthews’ writing:  Once again, both Joss Whedon and Brett Matthews managed to write a completely hilarious, action-packed and emotional story rolled up into one volume!  After reading, “Serenity: Those Left Behind,” I assumed that this volume was going to continue after the events of that volume.  But, I was pleasantly surprised to see that this is a one-shot story about what the Serenity crew would do with so much money and how their lives would change if they actually had a successful heist.  I loved the way that Joss Whedon and Brett Matthews portrayed each character’s fantasy about being rich, with my favorite daydreams being Jayne’s and River’s since theirs were the funniest in the entire sequence!  I also loved the fact that Joss Whedon and Brett Matthews managed to explore how the characters all feel about being rich as their reactions were both expected and unexpected!  It was also interesting in introducing a new threat for the Serenity crew in the form of a soldier who wants revenge on the “dust devils” for killing so many innocent people.  I loved how this brought in a new viewpoint on the Battle of Serenity and how the independents (the group of survivors that Mal and Zoe are from) are being viewed as the bad guys, despite them fighting for their independence from the Alliance.  I also viewed the term “dust devils” as being a sort of derogatory term for the independents, which really adds so many layers to the after effects of the war of Serenity Valley.

Will Conrad’s artwork:  Will Conrad’s artwork as usual brilliantly grabs the close likeliness of the characters from the “Firefly” TV series; such as the artwork of Mal looking exactly like the actor, Nathan Fillion and the artwork of Jayne looking exactly like the actor, Adam Baldwin. I also loved the way that Will Conrad drew the action sequences as they look truly intense and exciting and I was so mesmerized by the various explosions and gunfights that occurs in this volume!

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:

The reason why I took off half a point from the rating was that I felt that this story was a bit too short.  I actually wished that this volume a bit longer and explained more about the characters’ reactions to being rich.  I also wanted to know more about the “dust devils” situation with the soldier and how he knew about Mal and Zoe’s involvement with the Independents during the Battle of Serenity Valley. 

Final Thoughts:

Overall, “Serenity: Better Days” is an extremely interesting read full of humor, emotion and action that would make “Firefly” fans proud! I would highly recommend this volume to anyone who is a huge fan of the “Firefly” TV series and enjoys a good stand-alone story!




  1. I'm looking forward to your thought's on Shepherd's Tale.

    1. I got Shepherd's Tale on my list, so hopefully I'll get around to reading it!