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Those Left Behind is set sort of between the series and the film, (though as every fan will know, those two things don't quite mesh with each other). This doesn't jar too much with either of them, and follows what happened to a lot of characters we didn't get to see again, so if you're interested in that, then this is worth the not-very-much money it costs.
By far my favourite thing about this comic was the dialogue. I could absolutely hear every character in my head, and as a long time fan of the series I thought this would be an aspect in which I would be disappointed, so it was awesome to be pleasantly surprised. You can really tell that Joss Whedon has taken the love and time to write great dialogue for these characters that he loves instead of just leaving it as something to bring in more money.
Nathan Fillion's introduction is testament to the love that the whole cast and crew had for this series, and is surprisingly touching. There are also gorgeous full-page character shots throughout the book, in a variety of styles, which are great (my favourite is the beautiful and softly drawn Kaylee).
For those reasons, I can forgive the appalling length. The whole book is only about half a cm thick, and with some full page boxes, that's really not that much. The artwork is pretty good, but I do wish that they'd either gone with a slightly more realistic look to make the characters instantly recognisable and different, or with something a little more experimental.
But that's just my opinion as a fan. As a comic book enthusiast, I consider the artwork to be pretty decent, certainly in terms of the colouring and shade, if a little too preoccupied with shadow and cross-hatching. A couple of the panels look slightly rushed, and certain characters look added in at the last minute as if they weren't part of the original sketch.
All in all, though, a darn valid attempt at placating the fans of the series, though it certainly isn't a way to get into firefly itself as there is no attempt made to introduce the characters as new. As an addition to a collection, though, it's an excellent buy. There are now quite a few firefly comics, but this one will always be my favourite, though nothing surpasses the series.
Audience: Firefly fans
Genre: Graphic novel
Released: Jan 2006
Publisher: Dark Horse
My advice - however much of a Firrefly fan you are, don't buy this comic. Of course, you're desperate for some more Mal on Jayne action and now that Serenity has been released, this seems the obvious way to fulfil those needs. What could be more of an enticing prospect than a storyline that plugs the gap between the end of the Firefly series and Serenity the movie.
well, not this. I almost can't believe that Joss Whedon was involved in any way on this one. a) there's no storyline to speak of. This just looks like a cut cut cut down version of a rejected Firefly "lets grab the bounty" type story that wouldn't have made it past the kicking ideas around stage. b) the writing is less than spot on. Usually anything Whedon does has that sparkling Whedon dialogue and character interaction that make it more than worth your time. here - nothing. No sparks. c)The artwork is tired and boring, bringing nothing to life excepe more detail than is really needed to make the characters look like their on screen counterparts.
And there's no Mal on Jayne action. Seriously.
Thankfully i believe that Whedon is working on a Firefly comics project similar to what he's doing with Buffy *crosses fingers*