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Serenity: Better Days #2

Posted: Friday, April 11, 2008
By: Ray Tate

Joss Whedon & Brett Matthews
Will Conrad, Michelle Madsen (c)
Dark Horse Comics
Mal and his gang fantasize about what their new found wealth just may buy them. In reality, they land on a planet for the filthy rich and find themselves to be just one of the many targets for some criminals with grand larceny on their minds. Meanwhile, a complication arises from Inara's clientele.

Despite having Joss Whedon and Brett Matthews involved, despite having Will Conrad's remarkable mimicry for persona on the screen, despite having Michelle Madsen's rustic colors, Serenity: Better Days in most cases need Firefly's accomplished cast for the delivery of the dialogue and the nuances of gesture to make the crew's fantasies interesting.

The Preacher's and River's turns are the exceptions. His hilarious joke on the crew is a pitch-perfect Ron Glass imitation and rife with Whedon's wit. River's weird fantasy requires no words and fits her characterization.

The incidents occurring on the luxury planet are much more engrossing. Mal reveals his smarts and finds himself in the unusual position of being admired rather than reviled. This leads neatly to the investigation of somebody who just may be hunting him, but it turns out he's got two hounds on his tail. One of Mal's pursuers seems to have a predilection for torture that appears awfully familiar, and the cliffhanger leaves the question of who has treed the fox behind.

Serenity: Better Days is good when contrasted to most comic books polluting the racks, but when compared to Firefly and the movie, Better Days is a little lacking. Maybe Whedon and Matthews need to move forward with the story rather stand still at a specific point before the culmination of the series.



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