Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #4
By Zack Whedon, Georges Jeanty, Karl Story & Laura Martin
The current Serenity miniseries, Leaves on the Wind, has been such a joy to read right from the very start. All of the first three installments from this title received near-perfect reviews with very good reason. Issue #4 slows the overall pace down, relatively speaking, while there were some fairly rushed-looking panels. However, this remains a great book that was quite enjoyable.
Zack Whedon consistently nails the speech of each character from the original Firefly series with the utmost perfection. The fourth issue again manages to feel like an extended episode that seamlessly continues from the original material. The narrative of Leaves on the Wind #4 has slowed down a bit, but things are definitely still heating up for the overall plot. The focus on various conflicts seems to be starting to narrow to the most immediate and prominent troubles in the story. However, there were still some interesting new additions introduced, including a greater image of Zoe’s current situation and the violence surrounding her. There were moments that felt like there might have been a bit more ‘life’ added to the dialogue and the actual events in the book, but this is admittedly a very minor nitpicky detail that is more of a reflection of just how wild issues #1-3 were in comparison. Again, this was another really fun installment in Serenity that still helped carry the story forward. The segment where Mal’s crew is planning their next move was terrifically executed, as the actual plan is covered through narration while the actual action takes place in-panel. Finally, the ending was just awesome; a very thrilling place to pick up again next month, to say the least!
The artwork also felt slightly rushed at some points, again, at least in comparison to previous installments. Leaves on the Wind #4 still had some great visuals, but there were definite moments of inconsistency. In particular, the characters aren’t as well designed as we’ve gotten used to, and some panels are actually somewhat confusing as to who is who. The faces and proportions in some spots look rough and awkward, and there doesn’t seem to be quite as much detail throughout the entirety of the book. However, there were also some picture-perfect panels in issue #4, where Georges Jeanty could almost make you question whether or not this might have been an actual photo of the original actor. One panel in particular, as Mal reveals himself to the resistance, is astonishingly accurate and impressive. Again though, the visuals are more than adequate and each panel is really ‘filled-out’, especially in the backgrounds. The ink work by Karl Story and the colors by Laura Martin do not disappoint. As we’ve come to expect, the excellent shading and line work really adds a lot to each image, and the colors remain very vibrant. As a whole, the book maintains its ‘bright’ visual sensibility that really captures the sci-fi vibe of this story.
Leaves on the Wind has been a wonderful continuation of a widely praised franchise, and the creative team have definitely continued to do justice to the world of Firefly. Despite any minor criticisms, issue #4 was a fun read that really helped push the plot forward. The ending was incredible and will likely lead to some intense action in the future as we quickly approach the penultimate issue. It should also be noted that in the letters section, there is talk of starting work on another miniseries to continue from this one! Huzzah!