Saturday, 13 April 2013

Serenity's Shepherd

I may not have a brown coat in my wardrobe, but I loved Firefly - and I was always intrigued by the mystery surrounding Shepherd Book.
When I went into Waterstones in Hereford yesterday, I found that the graphic novel section had got bigger - and they had The Shepherd's Tale.
I had to treat myself.
It's always nice to see a character in fiction, especially SF, who takes religion seriously, but is not a caricature. Book has a real faith and takes it seriously in the series (and it's not often you see the St Francis prayer "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace" in a comic book).
The story has an odd structure. It starts with what we know, from the film Serenity, right at the end of Book's life, and gradually works backwards, scene by scene. Of course, he lived through the war - and he wasn't always a priest (was he ever actually a priest at all? Devoutly Christian, certainly, and he'd come from a monastery when Kaylee persuaded him to travel with the Serenity crew), but what had he done with the rest of his life?
Well, this story tells all - everything that led up to the appearance of Book in the series, anyway.
Zack Whedon tells the story, from an outline by Joss Whedon, and Chris Samnee is the artist - and I shall be looking out for more of their work.

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