Thursday, March 31, 2016

Book Review: Serenity Vol. 3: The Shepherd's Tale by Joss Whedon et al.

Serenity Vol. 3: The Shepherd's Tale story by Joss and Zack Whedon, art by Chris Samnee

Joss and Zack Whedon pen this tale of Shepherd Book from the Serenity/Firefly storyline. His past has been very mysterious and this book reveals a great deal of his background. Why is he so violent? How did he become a Shepherd, a sort of preacher or wandering holy man? Why do so many people fear him? Unlike Clint Eastwood's character in Pale Rider, Shepherd Book is an authentic holy man seeking to spread a message of peace. Book doesn't ride into town just to avenge wrongs. He's a fascinating character who comes to use violence only sparingly and highly effectively. But that is the end of his story, not the beginning.

The story is told in reverse order, like the movie Memento, though the episodes are of varying time lengths (though each is told in six to eight pages). As a character study it is fascinating and the story is accessible as a stand-alone story (i.e., if you have no knowledge of the movie Serenity or the TV series Firefly, you will still be able to follow and enjoy the story).

Easily the best of the Serenity graphic novels.

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