We've been waiting years for the comic book that tells the backstory of Firefly's Shepherd Book, called The Shepherd's Tale. And now it's finally coming out, written by Zack Whedon from a detailed scene-by-scene outline by his brother Joss.
We've heard little hints about Book, including that he found God in a bowl of soup, he killed a man, and one part of him is artificial. But now, Zack Whedon explains to Comic Book Resources that all will be revealed about Serenity's most enigmatic crewmember:
You will see Book's full trajectory... How he became the man he was in the show and who he was previous to that. It takes you deep into his past. You really get to see the entire evolution of this man.
This story is much more character-oriented than adventure-oriented. It is a great ride to be sure, but it doesn't have the consistent action element that the show or the previous comics had. I mean, the guy's a shepherd, and the majority of the comic covers the period before he got on Serenity and started hanging out with those hooligans. It will cover a lot of locales, some of which will be familiar and some of which will not be at all, but all of which will be fun to explore...
Book specifically is a great character to do the origin of because we know so little about it in the show, the little hints that we get are so enticing and his history is very... complicated. It's an intricate set of circumstances that created the man we meet in the show so that is very fun to explore.
There's some concept art showing Book at different ages — still looking like Ron Glass throughout — and it's pretty amazing.
Separately, editor Scott Allie tells CBR that this might be the most Firefly-esque Firefly comic yet:
It was Joss' idea, late last year, to bring Zack on for this, and we jumped at it, because by then I think he'd already written his first issue of 'Terminator.' So we knew he could nail this. There's a scene, early on in 'Shepherd's Tale,' where you see most the cast of 'Serenity' back together, and it's the closest I've ever come to feeling like the show's back. Sometimes with just one line - Wash - Zack perfectly recreates these characters. I can't wait for people to read it.
He's not the only one who can't wait. The Shepherd's Tale comes out this November, as a hardcover graphic novel.