Serenity: Leaves On The Wind #1
Where In The Galaxy Is The Serenity?
Sure, it's a leading question, because I know plenty of people, male and female, who would like to play Where's Waldo? with Nathan Fillion.
But in Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #1, the question of Serenity's whereabouts is absolutely crucial, as Zack Whedon steps in to follow his brother Joss' vision. Continuing on from the film Serenity, Whedon drops us right into the chaos of both the Alliance and rebels rocked by the video that Captain Mal Reynolds released into the known worlds.
Of course, the Alliance is doing a very good job of discrediting the revelation that the Reavers, cannibal pirates in space, were the result of an Alliance experiment gone wrong. All the while, they give the illusion of free speech, as Whedon and artist Georges Jeanty show us panels from news broadcasts that look suspiciously contemporary.
If you're new here, let me stop a moment. Yes, this has overtones of a Western, rebels, an empire, and cannibal pirates in space. Why the heck does this concept remain in the "cult hit" category? It's fantastic.
Okay, back to the comic at hand. The rebels, too, are searching for the Serenity because they see Reynolds and his crew as potential leaders, symbols to rally around. They don't know that never really seemed to be Captain Mal's style.
In fact, it's a full nine pages in before we see the crew, months after the events of the film, struggling to pick up the pieces of their personal devastation. Some have moved forward a bit, some back, and it's obvious that nothing is the same.
Beyond that, I don't want to reveal anything, because if you are a fan of Firefly/Serenity, you want to discover it for yourself. Suffice to say that Zack Whedon has a decent handle on the characters, and in a couple of places, it's easy to hear the original actors' voices in your head.
Jeanty's work is a bit more impressive here than in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer season extensions. Always a good layout person, he has a cast of characters who are a little more varied in appearance to work with, so there's not the confusion among faces that (for me) plagues the Buffy books. The result here is interesting, occasionally claustrophobic on the Serenity itself (as appropriate), and giving a good sense of all the environments we have on the table so far.
Maybe you do not even need this review to have picked up this book. But know that though it takes a few pages, it's more than just a comfortable visit with old friends. It's beginning a visit to a movie series that should have been; if this is the way we have to get it, so be it. At least we have it.
Find this book and, of course, any comics you like at your local comics shop. We recommend Earth-2 Comics in Northridge, Earth-2 Comics in Sherman Oaks, Illusive Comics & Games, Hijinx Comics and The Comic Bug -- and many, many more in a neighborhood near you.
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