Serenity #8: Sunday Best

Serenity #8: Sunday Best (2007)
by Realbuzz Studios | Thomas Nelson
96 Pages - Full Color [ Youth / Youth Interest / Teen Fiction ]

Story and Creation - Buzz Dixon
Art - Min Kwon
Original Character Designs - Drigz Abrot

Publisher summary: Serenity wants to change for the better, but when a clumsy attempt at doing the right thing goes awry, she finds herself over her head in deep waters. Will she sink on her own . . . or accept help from an unexpected source? Then in the latest mini-movie from Serenity and her pals--this one a disaster epic--an earthquake leaves the local mall crumbling. When a group of curious kids meet a gang of vicious looters, things really get shaky as they find themselves "Crawling from the Wreckage."

Reviewer: UC Pseudonym | Contact | 21 September 2008

In accordance with the new format of the series, the eighth volume of Serenity is partially standard plot and partially a movie created by the characters. This time the movie is only referenced in the background and these two halves are more separate. I will comment about the efficacy of this new format at a later time, so for now I will address the halves individually.

This split format serves to reduce the amount of content that can be fit into each volume. Thus it remains very much the same as it has always been and I have relatively little new to say. A chat conversation is briefly featured, but it wasn’t long enough for me to analyze whether it was better written. Strangely, there may actually be a typo in the background – God id love – that or they’re making a rather interesting statement.

But the surprising thing is the positive theological content in this volume. Tim explains how “an eye for an eye” is a limitation whereas “turn the other cheek” is a proscription. This is good theology, and though the explanation is short it is sufficient. That may even be something new to the younger crowd this series means to reach, so that makes the volume actually edifying.

Serenity also attends church, an episode that suffers from the shortness of the volume. In its compressed form, it’s essentially just a montage showing that her experience is a mixed bag but she’s warming to Christianity. This really isn’t all that unrealistic of an experience for people unfamiliar with church, so at least it feels reasonable. That’s also why I’m willing to forgive the jokes surrounding her clothing – though the abruptness of the grandmother at the end of that sequence is the funniest thing in the volume, hands down.

Then during one of the episodes, Serenity is rescued by an angel. Did that take you off guard? Not exactly what I expected, anyway. But the volume truncates just after this is discovered, so the issue isn’t properly addressed until the next, where I will comment on it more fully.

As for the character films, it’s really fairly difficult to judge them (other than to say that those are some slick new rectangular box cell phones they have there). Are they meant to explore the “real” characters in different roles? Are they supposed to be parodies, or should they stand alone as interesting vignettes? At worst, they’re an effort to spice up the volumes and attract new readers.

Lastly, this volume also ends with part of a paper written by Serenity. As in a paper for class, subsequently graded in red by our friend Mr. Pyle from the first volume. Apparently this is the second of four pages, however, so it seems unlikely it will be a continued feature for longer than four volumes. I’m not sure what the appeal is, so that’s probably a good thing.

Back to Top - Back to Index