REVIEW: Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #3
Great throwback characters from Firefly and Serenity, first story arc is suspenseful and entertaining
Characters sometimes do not look or sound like their television counterparts, lacks comedic elements from original series
The crew of Serenity are back in an all new comic book series. In the vein of other “Whedon-verse” properties such as Buffy and Angel, the television show Firefly finds new life at Dark Horse Comics. Taking place after their movie Serenity, Malcolm Reynolds and his crew are on the run from the Alliance. With some key members of his crew gone, Mal struggles to keep his ship flying and his crew fed, finding refuge wherever they can. Along their journey they will encounter friends and foes, both old and new, while doing everything they can to survive in the black.
Previously in Serenity: Leaves on the Wind: Mal’s second in command Zoe has given birth to a baby girl named Emma. However, complications with Zoe after giving birth forces the crew to leave her at an Alliance hospital. Hoping to find a way to get Zoe back, River decides to go under a sleeping trance. Meanwhile, Jayne Cobb, his new companion Bea, and her crew are on the hunt for Serenity. Bea hopes Mal will lead her fledgling rebellion against the Alliance. They finally find Mal and his crew but they are not the only ones. As soon as Jayne and Bea arrive on Serenity, Bea’s ship explodes. It is revealed that they were followed by Jubal Early, a bounty hunter who was left stranded in space by Mal and River.
THE RETURN OF THE SERENITY CREW
Zack Whedon continues the adventures of Mal and his crew in Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #3. Jubal Early infiltrates Serenity for a second time. Similar to how he took out Serenity the last time, the bounty hunter takes out Mal’s entire crew one by one again. Unfortunately for Jubal Early, he miscounted one crew member. I remember Jubal Early from the last episode of Firefly television series. It was unaired because the show was canceled. The comic’s Jubal Early is not as menacing or crazy as the television version. Still he is a nice throwback character to devoted Firefly fans. So far, this Serenity comic series has a much more serious tone than the television show or movie. Although the crew is stuck in a life or death situation, these characters lack the witty banter, sharp comebacks and other comedic elements that resonated with fans. They are also prone to exposition, constantly explaining how they feel or how dire the situation is. Malcolm Reynolds has definitely lost some of his edge since the movie. His movements are predictable, a far contrast to his movie and television character. Still, the story arc seems to be developing into an adventurous one. With any chase scene, there needs to be some suspense and this issue delivers on that part. River’s plan to find others like her is a gambit worthy of the Serenity crew. Also, at the end of the comic, the arrival of an new character to fill Zoe’s absence should prove an interesting addition to Mal’s crew.
SOMEWHAT ACCURATE CHARACTER DEPICTIONS
Georges Jeanty continues his Firefly inspired artwork in Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #3. The artist’s character depictions are very good but only close up. At a distance, some characters do not look like their television counterparts. Worse, sometimes the characters Inara and River look alike. The ship interiors, where most of the action occurs in this comic is great. Everything from the kitchen to Malcolm’s room to the medical bay look like they came straight from the television show. Overall, the artwork is very similar to other Whedon-verse comics like Buffy and Angel.
BOTTOM LINE: SO FAR, NOT UP TO PAR
I had a lot of high expectations going into reading Serenity: Leaves on the Wind As a big fan of the old television series, it is exciting to see Dark Horse Comics try to create a successful comic book with the Firefly franchise, like they did with Buffy and Angel. So far, the comic lacks many aspects that gave the series such a cult following. It is still a relatively new series and loyal fans will continue to read it. However, Serenity: Leaves on the Wind has a lot of work to do if it wants to be up to par with the television show and movie.