If all you have watched are the 13 episodes of Firefly and the movie Serenity and you want more, thanks to Dark Horse Comics you can catch up on even more stories of the Serenity and its crew with three trade editions. And just like Dark Horse has had great success with the Star Wars and Buffy the Vampire franchises, you will find equally good handling of your favorite characters in its Serenity books.
In all three books you’ll find the settings, both on ship and offworld, familiar and true to the series. Thanks to scripts by Joss Whedon himself, as well as writers Brett Mathews and Zack Whedon and artists Will Conrad and Chris Samnee. The second novel features some top-level art cover work by Adam Hughes including three original covers that form the beautiful triptych at the top of this article. Each trade edition reprints three issues of a limited series, and standalone stories were included in the second trade.
First up, originally published in 2006 is the Those Left Behind story. The best of the three novels, Those Left Behind was once Dark Horse Comics’s biggest seller (before Buffy Season 8). The story would easily serve as the script for a typical Firefly episode. Set between the series and the movie, it includes a bank heist, a gunfight showdown, and reveals the meaning of the Hands of Blue, one of the seemingly random utterances by River Tam in the series. The book includes an intro by Nathan Fillion where he calls this his favorite comic ever.
The second graphic novel is Better Days, originally published in 2008, also set between the series and the film but before the events in Those Left Behind. Beginning with a chase scene, our crew is on one of their typical jobs and come upon enough loot to have anything they ever wanted. This leads to an examination of what makes each character tick through their imaginings of what they would do with their shares in the bounty. An updated edition of Better Days, titled Better Days and Other Stories, is a hardcover that includes a one-shot comic Float Out and the short stories The Other Half and Downtime. Better Days includes an upbeat introduction by Adam Baldwin.
Finally, The Shepherd’s Tale focuses on the character Shepherd Book, originally published in late 2010. It examines Book during the events before and leading up to his role in the movie Serenity. Whedon uses this book to give us more of a view into the character that was intended to be further fleshed out in the series. It includes an afterword by Joss Whedon’s brother Zack Whedon.
One more Dark Horse Comics version of the Firefly universe has been published, the 2012 Free Comic Book Day flip comic titled Serenity: Firefly Class 03-K64 – It’s Never Easy. Hopefully at some point this story will be reprinted and Whedon will allow further stories of the Firefly-class Serenity ship to be created. We have no doubt fans are eager to learn what new adventures are out there for Mal and his crew. All of these can be found at your local comic book shop or online stores like Amazon.com.