This is a book that I recently saw at my local comic shop (yes they still do exist) and my local library as a new edition to their stacks of books. There are actually quite a few graphic novels, and even anime, at the library these days which is a nice change of pace from years past. I was pleased to see in this graphic novel that on the first few pages there is a Comic shop Locator Office number, toll free, 1-888 266-4226-number to call to find a local comic shop in your area, which I think is a great idea.
This book is different than others I’ve enjoyed in the past (my bookshelves are filled with books and graphic novels) in that it starts at the end Shepherd’s story instead of the beginning. That makes sense since the ending is known, but the time before he became part of the Serenity crew is much more of a mystery. He had quite a few good one liners on the show but my favorite was when he told Mal (repeatedly) that “there was a special kind of hell” for Captains who took advantage of young ladies. He seemed to enjoy mentioning that a lot. This story tells how he came to have quite a few of his many skills and what experiences lead to certain choices to make his way in the world, to the resistance, to the military and later to God, the crew and his sanctuary on land “Haven.”.
It’s a short read but each panel is quite meaningful and the artist and writers do a lot with the graphics so there doesn’t need to be 80 speech bubbles detailing what’s happening since it’s evident on the page. I very much liked the story and enjoyed seeing the progression of a hardened young lad who has all the drive of a great leader with conviction and sacrifice, but way too much strength in his fists, to later be the man we know and cared about on Serenity. In his younger days, his decisions are made quickly without considering all the risks and consequences (or deeming them to be acceptable losses- much to the chagrin of others and himself later on). If you curious what made the man then this is the book to help fill in some of the gaps.
He was honorable in his own way and gave help to others, especially those he cared about on the shop and later on land. The perspective keeps jumping back and forth before ending with his home life and how he started on his journey but it gives more clarity on why he made some of those choices and how it changed him to be the preacher man we know. He started out life with the view of every boy/man for himself and ended it by saving others with a turret gun so members of his “flock” that had sanctuary on land in “Haven” could get to safety, even if he could not. His life ended on his terms and seemed at peace with his life at last. I would happily read about more of his adventures on Serenity or Haven and would be a good man to have in your corner or at your back.
Serenity: The Shepherd’s Tale by by Zack Whedon (Author), Joss Whedon (Author), Chris Samnee (Artist), Dave Stewart (Artist), Steve Morris (Artist)
Series: Serenity (Book 3)
Hardcover: 56 pages
Publisher: Dark Horse Books (November 16, 2010)
One of Serenity’s greatest mysteries is finally revealed in The Shepherd’s Tale, filling in the life of one of the show’s most beloved characters – Shepherd Book! Who was Book before meeting Mal and the rest of the Serenity crew, how did he become one of their most trusted allies, and how did he find God in a bowl of soup? Answers to these and more questions about Book’s past are uncovered in this original hardcover graphic novel by rising stars Zack Whedon (Dr. Horrible, Terminator, Fringe) and Chris Samnee (Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps, Daredevil). A pivotal chapter in the ongoing Serenity saga, The Shepherd’s Tale is also a rollicking, action-packed epic in its own right.
"Serenity: The Shepherd's Tale"
This book is different than others I’ve enjoyed in the past (my bookshelves are filled with books and graphic novels) in that it starts at the end Shepherd’s story instead of the beginning.
His life ended on his terms and seemed at peace with his life at last. I would happily read about more of his adventures on Serenity or Haven and would be a good man to have in your corner or at your back.