10 things only comic book fans know about Shepherd Book

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Joss Whedon’s sci-fi western Firefly only lasted fourteen episodes in the early 2000s, but it was plenty of time for the series to develop a small but dedicated fan base. The actors of the series reprized their roles in the 2005 film Serenity which saw the conclusion of many of the series’ lingering storylines, but one plot point that remained unresolved was the mysterious backdrop to Shepherd Derrial Book.

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Shepherd Book joined the crew of the Serenity as a temporary passenger and traveling missionary in the pilot episode of Firefly, but as the show progressed, it became evident to the other passengers that he was no ordinary minister. Luckily for fans, Joss and Zack Whedon continued the story of Firefly in comic book form, including the publication of a detailed history of the Shepherd called Serenity: The Shepherd’s Tale in 2010.

ten Evil Hallmarked Shepherd’s Book

Shepher Book hits Evil in the Firefly comics

the Serenity The film begins with the unexplained absence of two of the ship’s original crew: Shepherd Book and Inara. Comics reveal Inara was tired of fighting Mal while flying Serenity and decided to leave. Mal gives her his word that he will take her where she wants to go, but he’s obviously not happy. After many detours, Inara, frustrated with Mal for taking on another job, withdraws from a group discussion.

Shepherd Book tries to convince Mal that he’s wrong and that he should keep his promise to Inara, but Mal says words mean nothing. For example, the preacher is not able to lecture him because while the Book says that they are to pray, follow the Bible, and trust God, the Shepherd is just as willing as others to break the law. act and do what is necessary to be done in a crisis. To Mal’s eyes, Shepherd’s words mean nothing either. This leads Shepherd Book to strike Mal.

9 The shepherd left the serenity not to return to his old ways

Shepher leaves Serenity in the Firefly comics

During the time between the end of Firefly and the beginning of the Serenity film, Shepherd Book stopped traveling with the Serenity and settled in Haven. The comics explain that this decision was made after hitting Mal.

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He feared that his time with the crew, Mal in particular, would corrupt him and lead him back to being the person he was before joining the abbey. Mal tells him that he is not holding on against him, but the Shepherd says that is what worries him. If Book stayed, one day, he might not care about the violence anymore.

8 Shepherd Book was an Alliance Soldier

Close up of Shepherd's Book in Firefly

Surprising given that he traveled with independent Browncoats on Serenity, Shepherd Book was once an Alliance Soldier. He rose through the ranks building a reputation for being ruthless and violent. He stood out from the superiors because he took a more “hands-on” approach to torture and interrogation.

The soldier who recommended him for a higher post told his supervisor that Book was “driven … brilliant, resourceful, [with] a great strategic mind. When asked by the supervisor what was driving him, the soldier replied that Book just couldn’t tolerate losing.

7 The book was a spy for the resistance

Shepherd joins the rebels in Firefly

The Alliance was impressed by Book’s willingness to “crush the Resistance”, but Book was in fact a real Resistance mole in the Alliance forces. He volunteered for a mission that no one else was crazy enough to take on even before the Unification War began.

The Resistance wanted a spy who could “climb the ranks [and] manipulate [the Alliance] from the inside. “It had to be someone with no family who didn’t mind putting their life on hold for the cause. Everyone said the idea was madness, but Book saw the potential of it. plan and was willing to take the risk.

6 The shepherd had a false eye

Shepher gets a fake eye in the Firefly comics

The Alliance could monitor all transmissions sent to or from their ships and bases, so Book needed a way to communicate Alliance secrets to the Resistance undetected. To do this, he undergoes surgery to remove one of his eyes and replace it with a “biorobotic implant” that would function as a transmitting camera.

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The false eye was connected to his optic nerve, so he could still see outside, but the Resistance also had the ability to see everything he saw.

5 Shepherd Book stole a man’s identity

Shepherd Book steals the identity of a man in the Firefly comics

The Shepherd needed a pseudonym if he wanted to infiltrate Alliance forces. His real name was originally Henry Evans, but Henry Evans had a checkered past. He needed a new name and a new identity if he was to have any chance of being hired by the Alliance.

The rebels tell him that he will have to take someone else’s, whether they want to give it up or not. From then on, Henry Evans decides to jump a stranger in an alley and strangle him before recovering his identity card to become Derrial Book.

4 He killed a lot of people

Shepher Book Killing Someone in Firefly Omics

To maintain its cover of the Alliance, it was necessary for Shepherd Book to injure and even kill “the enemy” – the rebels, independents and suspected traitors. However, the Browncoats’ long-term plan was to sabotage the Alliance in a much bigger way. Book planned a massive Alliance operation on six different planets that ended in complete disaster thanks to the information he passed on to the independents.

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Four thousand people, including men, women and children, were killed. It was a great victory for the independents, but a great tragedy and a great humiliation for the Alliance. Book was stripped of his military title and quietly removed from Alliance forces.

3 He had a drinking problem

Shpherd Book cartoon drawing Forefly

Despite their best efforts, the independents lost the war and the planets were all united under Alliance rule. After Book was discharged from the military, he was lost and aimless. His rebel spy mission had been accomplished, but the Browncoats had always failed. If they had succeeded, Book’s methods might have been justified.

After losing, he had four thousand souls on his conscience for no good reason. He spent many years as a homeless person with a drinking problem before he wondered what to do with the life given to him – a question that led him to the abbey and to God.

2 Shepherd Book was a runaway and a petty thief

Shepherd Book Fleeing

Shepherd Book’s childhood and adulthood were far from ideal. When he was a young boy, his alcoholic father abused him, causing him to run away and survive on the streets. He started stealing and robbing people at gunpoint to get by.

When the authorities almost catch him and his partner in crime, he sacrifices his partner’s freedom in order to get away cleanly. In The Shepherd’s Tale, Book says the idea of ​​having a house “has no power over” him. He can leave whoever he wants when he wants because the only person he has to watch is himself.

1 Serenity was his first home

When the shepherd left the abbey, he was on a mission from God. He’d been there for ten years, but that wasn’t where he was supposed to end up. All his life, Book had jumped from place to place, fleeing his father, the law, the Covenant and himself.

A young Derrial Book, then called Henry Evans, had determined that “home” was an unnecessary concept, something he did not need. But, as he lay dying, the Shepherd thought about his life and thought that he had found a family and a home in the most unlikely places, on Serenity.

NEXT: Everything We Know About The Firefly Revival

Split image depicting the covers of two Vertigo titles, The Invisibles and Children's Crusade


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