ADVANCE REVIEW: Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #1
Fans have been clamoring for a continuation of the Firefly universe for years. Joss Whedon’s occasional miniseries have been fine, but a story set after Serenity was always high on the list. Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #1 is exactly that, and it’s a damn good comic.
Zack Whedon spends a little under half of this issue reminding people of the world that Mal and his crew belong too. It’s quite thorough without ever bogging the issue or taking the focus off of the crew. Zack takes a big snapshot of all the important players in this rich universe, while also setting up numerous threads for the miniseries. Considering this miniseries is only six issues, there is a surprising amount of threads that will need to be wrapped up. Or we will be surprised and get an ongoing series out of this. Stranger things have happened. Joss Whedon and crew didn’t spend much time exploring the politics of his fantastical universe in the show, movie, and subsequent comics. The deepest we got was that the Alliance was bad and that’s all we needed to know. Zack Whedon gives a nice glimpse into the political spectrum of the universe giving the actions of our favorite crew some emotional weight.
Even though there have been quite a few changes amongst the Serenity, it still feels like home. The few crew/relationship changes add to the already bloating amount of plot threads. It’s easy to hear the actor’s voices when reading the dialogue. One relationship change (not going to spoil it here) will cause some controversy amongst die-hard fans. There are a few humorous moments between the crew, but the issue is quite serious. I’m still undecided about the quick Wash cameo as his ending in Serenity was so perfect that the character could have been left alone and I wouldn’t have cared. But it acts as a nice reminder to show where Zoe is emotionally, so it works no matter how you feel. This is Zack Whedon’s second foray into the Firefly universe (the first being the Free Comic Book Day story), and he handles it nicely. It’s clear that Zack has worked hard to nail the voices of these characters.
Georges Jeanty switches from one Joss Whedon project to another here in Serenity: Leaves on the Wind. As with most Jeanty work that involves characters that look like actors, the artwork leaves something to be desired. River doesn’t look like Summer Glau, which makes a few panels quite confusing. Simon looks nothing like Sean Maher, but at least it’s easy to figure out who he is by process of elimination. The only time Jeanty really nails the look of every actor is when there is a close up. Jeanty does find a way to make sure that Mal looks exactly like Nathan Fillion in every shot. It’s not all bad, as Jeanty captures the spirit and history of the Firefly universe well. The mixture of American and Chinese culture feels on par with the series/movie. There is a sense that the universe has been lived in for some time, and that there have been real changes since the end of Serenity. I’ve liked Jeanty on the Buffy books, but his artwork seems more natural here in Serenity.
Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #1 gets 4/5.