GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

Serenity: Better Days Issue #3 Wednesday 5/14/2008 Told ya it was a Firefly/Serenity episode! Here be SPOILERS!

POSTED BY: ANONYMOUS1
UPDATED: Thursday, August 21, 2008 17:05
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Tuesday, May 20, 2008 3:21 AM

NBZ


I am guessing some of those elements may have been threaded in for "A Shepherd's Tale".

That is assuming that it takes place between Better Days and Those Left Behind.

For some reason I can't seem to but the explanation for at least "the why" which Inara gives.

The Rainy day question is very good to ponder over. No idea. The BDM would suggest (to me) no.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008 5:05 AM

PLATONIST



Yeah me too, "the why" she gives doesn't make sense to me, either. Mal usually doesn't give anything away without something in return, like for the protection of his crew or HER, and not just to spare his selfish desires. That seems inconsistent for his character. She may have been off target on his motives and he didn't want to belabor the point, because he is still digesting the Simon revelation and wants time to think. He is already on the move, leaving the shuttle, at that point.

A Shepherd’s Tale will be interesting, but I think it mainly will provide Book’s back-story


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Tuesday, May 20, 2008 5:31 AM

NBZ


Quote:

Originally posted by Platonist:
A Shepherd’s Tale will be interesting, but I think it mainly will provide Book’s back-story



Like this mini-series was about a job gone right?

At most I expect it to be in the background. I doubt we will get "Here is the lowdown on Book."

Probably an encounter with someone from his past. or a situation that finds out whatever it is that is artificial about him. (no idea if "artificial" means "make believe" or "prosthetics" in this context.)

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008 6:42 AM

GWEK


I think the problem with folks not wanting to buy Mal's motives as depicted by Inara is that we all want to make Mal more heroic than he is.

Mal IS basically good-natured, but he also does a lot of stupid, selfish things throughout the course of the series. I think this is another example.

I'll admit that it doesn't jibe entirely with his demeanor in the movie, but the comic seems to be more an extension of the SERIES than the movie (despite the name) and this is just one of many small discrepancies.

Earlier on, folks speculated what Mal did with the money and if he might have kept some for a rainy day. I doubt that he would do that, because that's more complicated than letting all the money go, less "clean", and brings a lot more chance for big questions to come up at a later date.

I think the money is just gone. All of it.


www.stillflying.net: "Here's how it might have been..."

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008 6:45 AM

SMAUG


Overall I liked it.. Heck it's more Firefly.. how can I not like it?

But as the discussion in this thread shows.. this 3 issue story either has flaws.. or it just shows how much the actors bring to the roles that you just can't capture in a comic book. No matter how good the art is.. and it was very good.

But right from the get go.. it left way too many questions. We are used to having questions when it comes to Firefly.. but this one story leaves as many as about the entire run of the show and movie together.

First off.. the job at the beginning just seemed "too big" for our little band of petty theives. I always liked the reality that we were always mis-lead. That it wasn't gold bars.. it was food. It wasn't what "we" would consider priceless cargo.. it was cows. Then their best heist was medicene (at least until the lasiter which was their OWN job) That just adds to how much "survival" is a part of the Firefly universe. Where food is the most valuable resource. But they are after some artifact type thing.. while just HAPPENING to be chased by some new fandagle security robot while doing so.

And this security robot happens to be built/operated/etc. by some guy who just happens to know Mal as if he already has a grudge against him. Then we never even find out who this guy is... Mal doesn't even ever learn/see who the guy is in issue 3 before the guy is killed(?) So one big question.

Then some other guy who they try to offload the security robot to, who again we never know who this guy is or how they know him, sends them to get some money out of a temple that just happens to be millions? Where did that money come from and why did that guy give it up? Or did Mal's plan actually start BEFORE even finding the money? Did Mal know they were going to find it? Was that part of his plan? Big questions number 2-5.

Then this security robot leaves some type of microscopic bugs behind so it can be tracked by guy who we don't know who he is. Spa worker removes{?) some type of little "bug" from Kaylee's fingernail. Or was that spa worker PLACING the bug? Was this the same tracer from the security robot? Why didn't said spa worker tell Kalyee that she has some microscopic chip under her fingernail? Big question 6, 7 and 8.

What's up with Simon and Inara? Big question 9.

Dust Devil Hunter guy (Spadra? Spike? something like that) ends up letting Mal AND Zoe go? AND doesn't care that Wash decked him? River knocks out someone (One of Spike's guys?) on Serenity but Kaylee and Simon don't know anything about it? Did River throw the guy off the ship also without anyone knowing? IF they did know.. wouldn't they wonder how she could subdue a solider like thta? After all.. she's only a 90 lb. weakling at this point for all they know. Big questions 10, 11 and 12?

Ok.. then Big questions 13-20 are all the ones above about people questioning who tiped the guys off where the money was? Excatly why? How they did it? WHO it was? etc..

Then question 21 and 22.. is if they are in Inara's shuttle going back to Serenity and they see a car speeding away.. HOW did they know that was someone stealing the money? Was that a slip from Jayne? Was Jayne in on it? Not saying he was the mastermind behind it.. but how would he know that a hover car speading away had stolen the money? Then the biggest question.. hmm.. they are in a shuttle? Why the frack didn't they go AFTER THEM????

Then Inara seems to call Mal out on having the money stolen to keep the crew together, and she thinks it's sweet? Maybe from Mal's perspective... but wouldn't she also feel the selfishness in denying everyone else the chance to do what THEY want to do with their lives? I don't think that Inara would have been quite that forgiving of Mal to do that to everyone else, even if she understood it on some level.


I think especially that last scene with Mal and Inara just didn't come accross right on paper.

I don't mind questions being left unanswered.. but I don't think that these three issues were meant to leave about 30 major questions unanswered that everyone is scratching their heads about. I didn't even get at first that it's implied that Mal planned the theft of the money.

I just don't think the ideas of this story translated right.. or was just missing those little things that would answer 28 of these 30 questions.


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Saturday, May 24, 2008 7:51 AM

PLATONIST



I'm really not sure if I'm comfortable with this episode now that I've had time to reread all three issues and look for subtle clues in the text. It's flawed, yes, but most of all I'm sensing that Joss and Brett tried to pack too much in a comic book because they didn't have the opportunity to do it on film over 7 years.

Most of all it has me questioning all that I understood about the characters, i.e., their true loyalty to the ship and how it differs from Mal's and in some ways Inara's since all of their fantasies were about them being off the ship. No wonder Mal was disappointed and questioning what their new fortune was doing to the crew. I'm just glad they pulled together at the end. Or, am I again rescuing Mal’s not so heroic act?

And, the revelation of Zoë being a Dust Devil, after the war, and NOT teaming up with Mal as most of us thought is contradicting.

Also, Mal's motives are in contrast to what we see in the movie where his emotional distance from the crew is very apparent. He is breaking away from them. And his conflict with Simon starts to take on a whole new meaning when you toss in Inara's declaration of needing Simon as a Doctor (if I read that right). Gosh, the look on Mal's face when she tosses him that crumb. To bad we couldn't have seen that on film.

And Simon's reaction to Kaylee's mentioning of Inara's name was strange and begs the question? Does he have a history of falling in love with his patients (River and Inara) as the unquestionable healer?

Is anyone else processing this new material as changing our perception of the canon? Did Joss purposely want to dispel fanon myths? Or is the comic series without any real substance? I’m curios to how others are interpreting these new additions to the time space continuum in this verse.

And to those of you that know me as an English teacher…these questions aren’t on the final as I’m not grading this. (lol)





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Saturday, May 24, 2008 3:32 PM

SMAUG


Quote:

Is anyone else processing this new material as changing our perception of the canon? Did Joss purposely want to dispel fanon myths? Or is the comic series without any real substance? I’m curios to how others are interpreting these new additions to the time space continuum in this verse.
Quote:



I agree.. although I enjoyed it.. lots of things just don't sit quite right. Agreed that it just seems like too much was thrown into this one story arc.. and on top of all the questions I mentioned above, I didn't even mention how it fits into the existing storyline. That's the problem with going backwards from our current frame of mind to tell a story. Like whatever is up with Simon and Inara (I'm assuming it's some medical thing and not anything else.. or at least it's not sex). But whatever it is.. has this been resolved before the movie? Or come the movie time.. does Mal still not know why Simon was in Inara's shuttle?

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Saturday, May 24, 2008 4:34 PM

ANONYMOUS1


Quote:

Originally posted by Smaug:
Then question 21 and 22.. is if they are in Inara's shuttle going back to Serenity and they see a car speeding away.. HOW did they know that was someone stealing the money? Was that a slip from Jayne? Was Jayne in on it? Not saying he was the mastermind behind it.. but how would he know that a hover car speading away had stolen the money?



Got this one.

Speeding hovercar is speeding away from Serenity with several large bags of money. The bags just happen to be the same color as the hovercar.


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Saturday, May 24, 2008 5:03 PM

NBZ


Quote:

Originally posted by Platonist:
Most of all it has me questioning all that I understood about the characters, i.e., their true loyalty to the ship and how it differs from Mal's and in some ways Inara's since all of their fantasies were about them being off the ship.



It kind of crushes the romanticism with firefly many in the fandom suffer from.

Most of the new info totally fits in with what I suspected, so I am not too puzzled.

(I have in the past created topics here and elsewhere arguing some points which I do believe this comic series sort of agrees with... call it an acid test passed without too much Damage. I did suggest that Kaylee would be willing to leave the ship - which many people thought was sacrilege.)

(ftr, the new Mal info is the bit that got burnt. I have never seen him as a hero type, but the why just does not gel for me. Too messy.)

Quote:

And, the revelation of Zoë being a Dust Devil, after the war, and NOT teaming up with Mal as most of us thought is contradicting.


For me, the Zoe and Mal NOT teaming up straight away kind of neatly fits in with how I thought it all went down. :P

In OoG flashback, Mal is trying to get a sceptical Zoe to buy into his plan. Wouldn't work as well if she was blindly following him from straight after the war.

Quote:

Did Joss purposely want to dispel fanon myths?


No idea. It does fit - show what the crew think. But then again he never killed Rayne, so I doubt it was too intentional a hit on badfic.

@ANonymous1 - that speeding vehicle does also beg a different question - why did they not give chase? They had weaponry. If Mal wanted to let them get away, he could have easily been "outvoted" by the others. Instead they just let it get away no questions asked.

(I am quite sure a shuttle is quicker than a normal (hover?)van)

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Monday, May 26, 2008 6:52 AM

GWEK


Not commenting on any specific questions or comments here, but throwing out sort of a new idea:

Whedon and Minear have said that they originally wanted FIREFLY to be a much darker show than the one that Fox aired. Fox essentially "hero'd it up." I believe it's in the commentary for THE TRAIN JOB that Whedon says that he did not initially plan on Mal being the kind of guy who would give the drugs back right off the bad, but since that was the direction he was heading eventually, Whedon was okay with speeding up the character evolution a bit.

The movie is a bit darker than the series on many counts, particularly with respect to Mal, BUT since it's a movie rather than a TV series, it lacks some of the subtlety we're used to and is almost a caricature of the series in some ways. Nothing wrong with that, but you can't tell the same depth of story in 2 hours as in 22 episodes. It's basic storytelling math. So while Whedon DID get to touch on his "darker" Firefly in SERENITY, he's a little constrained by the story that he's telling--which was designed to a) answer some of the big questions of the series, and b) hopefully pull in a big enough audience to make it a blockbuster.

In the comics, we have a whole different animal. This is Whedon's opportunity to tell whatever FIREFLY story he wants in whatever manner he wants, without studio intervention. Given that his original intention was for FIREFLY to be a bit grimmer than what we got, it's no surprise that some of what we see in the comic doesn't quite jibe with what we see in the series or the movie... and that it paints a slightly more unsavory view of the world and the characters.

No real point here. :) Just some food for thought.

www.stillflying.net: "Here's how it might have been..."

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Monday, May 26, 2008 1:20 PM

ANONYMOUS1


Doesn't mean the shuttle didn't give chase. Could have given chase and they escaped in a tunnel the shuttle couldn't fit in.
Could be the bad guys shot back at the shuttle. Shuttle has no guns except what the crew has on board. Jayne could have tried
hanging out the hatch and got hit by a bird or something.

Lots of stuff we didn't see. Like what happened after River kicked the guy in the throat.

Like what Simon was doing in the shuttle with Inara.


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Monday, May 26, 2008 3:19 PM

NBZ


Quote:

Originally posted by GWEK:
In the comics, we have a whole different animal. This is Whedon's opportunity to tell whatever FIREFLY story he wants in whatever manner he wants, without studio intervention. Given that his original intention was for FIREFLY to be a bit grimmer than what we got, it's no surprise that some of what we see in the comic doesn't quite jibe with what we see in the series or the movie... and that it paints a slightly more unsavory view of the world and the characters.



Except that page count matters and drawing it all (I presume - I have zero artistic bones in my body) a very time consuming ...erm I forgot the word... project?

We get to see it closer to how he wanted it, but les of it. (can't complain, less is better than the "none" we were getting beforehand.)

@anonymous1: as with the other scenario's, giving chase is not even hinted at. I don't think they did (but I could be wrong).

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Monday, May 26, 2008 3:30 PM

PLATONIST


Actually, Gwek, your train of thought crossed my mine too. In this episode, Joss had complete artistic control over plot, characters and reactions, etc, so what we are reading is a darker version of the verse as originally intended, like the tone of Serenity (the movie) that many fans are uncomfortable with. Some deny the movie’s existence all together, because, at times, the crew is portrayed in an unlikable light and the content is apocalyptic.

Both the comic series (TLB and BT) and the movie, which Fox had no input on, are dark and ominous. There is more tension between the crew. There are fistfights, threats, and deaths. Heck poor little River is chained up in the storage locker for a third of the movie and Mal and Jayne both contemplate killing her by putting a bullet in her. I wouldn't exactly call them The Robinson Family bound for Alpha Centurion that some of us grew up with. Mal isn’t Dad Brady by any stretch of the imagination. And his behavior crammed into two hours instead of spread out of seven years would seem immediate, questionable, and possibly irrational at times, as it does in a single comic episode.

All I can suggest is to strap yourselves in for more doom and gloom...Kaylee/Simon are toast because Inara's got a big ass medical secret that Simon's going to become fixated on when he's not busy keeping River from killing off the rest of the crew, that is if Mal or Jayne don't finally sell her out for fuel or profit to keep Serenity flying and Zoe doesn't rejoin the Devils now that Wash is dead and kill every living card carrying Alliance sympathizer, including Inara, the clone, and her unborn love child with Mal ...and then you know how that will end.

And, nbz, if it’s any consolation, I think, in the end… you will be spared any RAYNE.

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Monday, May 26, 2008 3:55 PM

NBZ


heh, earlier drafts of the BDM had other things which could have made people baulk - like the negotiations in that bar with Fanty and Mingo, where it was suggested the agree upon cut WAS 25% and not the 40 Mal was demanding. Mal was trying to get more than the agreed upon price because he felt the risk was higher then he had anticipated. (in other words he was trying to screw them over. Nice.)

Saying that, I do like the movie. I even like the fact that Wash got killed.

I like the movie and I enjoyed this comic miniseries. It was well put together and felt very Fireflyish, even though it left a number of unanswered questions.

(only questionable thing is the writes taking it too far away from its premise - the crew are supposed to be small time in a world where they cannot afford the more fashionable weaponry. Then out of nowhere come combat robots. it can be slid off on this occasion as they were on a rich man's world, but I hope they keep things small.)

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Monday, May 26, 2008 4:40 PM

GWEK


The robots--and particularly the action sequence at the beginning of issue one--bring up another interesting point about the dynamic of a comic book version: it's going to be more visually dynamic (and potentially "over the top") than another interpretation. Both miniseries begin with a action sequences that may be Firefly-esque in tone but are a bit... cartoony?... in scope. (Consider, for example, Ott's crew in THOSE LEFT BEHIND. Ott feels like a guy Mal would run into, but the crew LOOKS like they were drawn by Rob Liefeld).

We may seen a shift in technology in the comic (eg, robots) because of this visual dynamic. Another factor to keep in mind is that a comic doesn't have the same kind of budget constraints as a television series, which could also lead Whedon to be a little "looser" with the reality scale of the comics (and it's worth mentioning that although we never see robots in the television series, they ARE available in the RPG. The game is not really canon, of course, but it shows that some folks were thinking in that direction already...).

As for getting *less* in a comic than in the television series: Yes, we're undoubtedly getting less story overall, but three issues of comic are roughly comparable to an hour-long episode. (Trust me on this one: I deconstructed THOSE LEFT BEHIND at length in order to built our Virtual Firefly Season One finale as accurately as possible). The pacing is different--three issues rather than 5 acts--but even that isn't all too different, because an episode consists of three acts (teaser/act 1=part one; act two/act three=part two; act four=part three). It's not an exact analog, but it's very close.


www.stillflying.net: "Here's how it might have been..."

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Monday, May 26, 2008 5:46 PM

ANONYMOUS1


Robots in Firefly/Serenity.

Robot garbage drone in Trash.
Mr. Universe's wife in Serenity.
Robot/machines in Niska's inside room in War Stories. Look carefully, you can see the henchmen
being cut in half by a saw like arm.

Serenity: Better Days was "very Fireflyish", because "it left a number of unanswered questions".






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Monday, May 26, 2008 6:32 PM

DESERTGIRL


After digesting this entire thread, it really just reminds me how much I prefer a big chunky novels to comic books. Comics just leave out too many details. Serenity comics are the first I have ever bought, and will probably be the last.

I read all three "better days" multiple times and I feel like someone told me about an episode over coffee the day after it aired. I get the gist but not the nuances.

Like I said give me a 10 pound book anyday, comics leave to many questions.



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Monday, May 26, 2008 6:34 PM

GWEK


With the exception of the LoveBot, most of those are basically "drones" (without any sort of real thought process) rather than true artificial AI-based robots. The big ol' bot in the first issue seems to fall into this category (since it processes routines, but mostly responds to the commands of the user), but the "missile-bots" in issue three seem like they MIGHT be a step above.

www.stillflying.net: "Here's how it might have been..."

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Monday, May 26, 2008 6:39 PM

GWEK


Quote:

Originally posted by Desertgirl:
After digesting this entire thread, it really just reminds me how much I prefer a big chunky novels to comic books. Comics just leave out too many details. Serenity comics are the first I have ever bought, and will probably be the last.

I read all three "better days" multiple times and I feel like someone told me about an episode over coffee the day after it aired. I get the gist but not the nuances.

Like I said give me a 10 pound book anyday, comics leave to many questions.



Don't judge comics too harshly. As a lifelong reader of comics and books, both have their ups and downs. It's almost--but not exactly--the difference between movies and TV shows.

Not to sound like a comic snob, but if you feel like you're not "getting" comics, it might be because you're not appreciating the subtle nuances of the form.

www.stillflying.net: "Here's how it might have been..."

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Monday, May 26, 2008 6:39 PM

PLATONIST


The rule of thumb for Firefly is no aliens; no new carbon based life forms. That doesn't equate to a lack of technological advancement. Plus, the guy the crew was stealing from was pitching and peddling his drones, until Reynolds! stole it from under him, making him look foolish. Mal wasn’t buying or using the robot. He was stealing it for a client, who ended up not really having the money. I’m not sure how this strays to far from the Safe heist, The Lassiter, The Train Job or the Lilac Station. It’s a job, so it fits in the small verse or the big blockbuster.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008 3:56 PM

ANONYMOUS1


Quote:

Originally posted by Desertgirl:
Comics just leave out too many details. Serenity comics are the first I have ever bought, and will probably be the last.



I really liked the Inara/Mal page in Serenity:Better Days #1.

Quote:

Originally posted by Desertgirl:
Like I said give me a 10 pound book anyday



Have you read New York Times Bestselling Author Steven Brust's Firefly Fanfiction Novel

http://dreamcafe.com/firefly.html

Not a 10 pounder but very nice.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008 1:27 PM

CANTTAKESKY


I can hardly wait. I'm gonna have to wait til DragonCon to get it. What else am I missing? I got the first comic book series. Anything else?

Dark Angel comic perhaps?

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008 2:25 PM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by canttakesky:


Dark Angel comic perhaps?

It wasn't that good. Just re-arranged computer-smeared pictures with word balloons (yes, I read one- try not to faint).

Chrisisall

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Sunday, August 17, 2008 11:00 AM

SWISH


Just wanted to bump this for later perusal, since I need more time to ponder all the insightful posts. I got the comics last week, and saw many of the problems discussed in this thread. Bad plot, or twists not fully explained? Hard call!

Good discussion here though, thanks!


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Sunday, August 17, 2008 1:01 PM

ANONYMOUS1


Quote:

Originally posted by swish:
Bad plot, or twists not fully explained? Hard call!



Joss Whedon. Twists not fully explained. He has to have in his head the idea that he could actually make this episode one day.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008 1:53 PM

SWISH


Quote:

Originally posted by Anonymous1:
Quote:

Originally posted by swish:
Bad plot, or twists not fully explained? Hard call!



Joss Whedon. Twists not fully explained.

Yeah, that's my feeling. I don't agree with GWEK that Mal's guilt is a given. Joss wants us to believe that Mal gave up that money, sure. But Joss wanted us to believe that Cordy would sleep with Connor. That one didn't feel right, this one doesn't either. When Joss writes someone out of character, there's generally a reason.

Cause Mal throwing away that money for touchy feely lovey reasons? Nope. Doesn't work for me. Not only because I don't think he's that sentimental, but also because it's just a stupid thing to do. Sure, Mal's sentimental and stupid, but not that kind of sentimental and that kind of stupid.

If Mal is sentimental, it's in a hidden, unselfish way, kind of along the lines of doing what's necessary to keep his crew alive and as safe as possible. Money is safety for them. Money is a ship that doesn't break down in the middle of nowhere. Money means not taking jobs from guys like Badger and Niska. Money also means independence from the Alliance. Would Mal really throw all that away just because he's worried about being lonely? It just doesn't sit right.

Sure, I could be wrong. I've tried guessing other options, but everything I can imagine has problems, so who knows. Maybe Joss meant it exactly as it seems. If so,

And again at Inara thinking it was "sweet".

Um.. .and shockingly, I really did like these comics LOL! It's just that ending...

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Thursday, August 21, 2008 11:55 AM

SPECULUMFIGHT


does anybody know if a trade paperback has been announced?


I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008 12:27 PM

DAVESHAYNE


Quote:

Originally posted by speculumfight:
does anybody know if a trade paperback has been announced?



Looks like. http://www.tfaw.com/Profile/Serenity:-Better-Days-TPB___324277

David

'Geeks can't admit that anything worthwhile was invented before 1981. Soon, "making cocoa" will be called "milk hacking."' - Lore Sjoberg

http://xkcd.com/386/

"Don't worry. Captain Hammer will save us." - Penny.

I has myspace - http://www.myspace.com/daveshayneforpresident

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Thursday, August 21, 2008 4:39 PM

SPECULUMFIGHT


thanks for the info.
I'll proboly try and get the 3 individual issues still.


Quote:

Originally posted by daveshayne:
Quote:

Originally posted by speculumfight:
does anybody know if a trade paperback has been announced?



Looks like. http://www.tfaw.com/Profile/Serenity:-Better-Days-TPB___324277

David

'Geeks can't admit that anything worthwhile was invented before 1981. Soon, "making cocoa" will be called "milk hacking."' - Lore Sjoberg

http://xkcd.com/386/



"Don't worry. Captain Hammer will save us." - Penny.

I has myspace - http://www.myspace.com/daveshayneforpresident



I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008 5:05 PM

DAVESHAYNE


Quote:

Originally posted by speculumfight:
thanks for the info.
I'll proboly try and get the 3 individual issues still.



I do find the comic books to be easier to read. For the TPBs Dark Horse reduces the size to match the smaller form of manga.

David

'Geeks can't admit that anything worthwhile was invented before 1981. Soon, "making cocoa" will be called "milk hacking."' - Lore Sjoberg

http://xkcd.com/386/

"Don't worry. Captain Hammer will save us." - Penny.

I has myspace - http://www.myspace.com/daveshayneforpresident

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