Thoughts

Off the Shelf: Serenity: Leaves On the Wind

Serenity: Leaves on the WindSerenity: Leaves on the Wind by Zack Whedon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Leaves On the Wind picks up 8 months after the movie Serenity. Alliance pundits argue over the consequences of the leaked Miranda transmission & what it means while a new generation of Browncoats organize & protest, eager to act but desperate for leadership. Meanwhile, on the Serenity, Zoe gives birth to her daughter & complications from her labor force the crew to leave her behind at a medical facility. An ambitious rebel also ends up accidentally leading Jubal Early to Mal & Co. as they try to dodge the Alliance forces. River thinks up a plan to try and get their enemies off their trail.

Leaves has a lot of good story, even if some of the characters occasionally act unlike themselves. (Kaylee threatening to torture Early is a nice callback to the series but not very believable.) Readers finally learn more about the Facility that held River & the other inmates. Sci-fi aficionados may find parallels between the Facility’s program and the Richard Matheson short story “Witch War.” And I’m glad that Mal & his crew are getting some new allies to help them fight back. One critique I have: it’s getting harder to believe that anyone is really dead in this series. On one hand, I can see where this sets up possibly bringing back Wash or Book. On the other hand, I realize that no one is really dead in comics but at this point I’m missing what’s at stake here. I’m also missing the small moments of levity that would break up the trouble the crew would get into. In the accompanying one-shot “It’s Never Easy,” one of the last panels is River riding a horse joyfully through the empty cargo hold of the ship. When I saw that I thought to myself, I miss that.

Recommended for fans who have recently gotten into the franchise & want more adventures from the crew. Here’s hoping that more Serenity comics are in the works!

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