I walked into an old comic store haunt today to check the shelves and see what I shouldn't buy. I picked up several TPBs, knowing that I had more important things to spend my money on and soon put them back down. Damn you adult responsibilities.
Then I saw Shepherd Book. In hardcover, no less. I picked him up. I read the promises of revelation and Joss' name. I held him close and could not put him down. Seeking final confirmation, I asked the clerk for his review. He gave a half-assed nod of consent, saying that it wrapped up the character nicely. Truly, I didn't need his words. I was not going to let Shepherd go.
The question now is, am I going to read this book?
You see, I am a fan of the inconclusive ending. "An ending, to be useful, must be inconclusive," wrote Denis O'Neil in Batman: Knightfall (or something like that).
This belief allows me to stem my bitterness over the cancellation of Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles. I can channel my bitterness into imagining the What Happens Next. An inconclusive ending is a fanfiction dream come true.
Many fans who lose their beloved shows cry bloody murder for their return and, as a result, get their wish. Sometimes, our wishes result in Serenity. Other times, they result in the Farscape: Peacekeeper Wars or Buffy and Angel comics. Not that the latter were horrible, but they were, well, they could have been better...
As for Shepherd Book. This book about Book promises to tell me his secrets. It promises to confirm or deny my belief that he is actually a former Operative who, like the Operative in Serenity, knows too much to simply be killed. I'm fairly certain that it will deny my guilty little fantasy involving Book actually being Zoe's father, who wanted, in his old age and regret, to spend time with his daughters, one of whom is an Alliance member - oh the drama! - without them actually knowing who he is and who he was.
My will is not that strong. I will probably end up reading this book before the weekend is over and, as predicted by some of the reviews, I will be disappointed.
Until then, Book remains my mystery...