Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #1
By Zack Whedon, Georges Jeanty, Karl Story & Laura Martin
Serenity is back! Three words you never thought you’d see together, right? For fans of the Firefly franchise that ended far too soon, the announcement of a Serenity mini-series was met with quite a positive response. Leaves on the Wind #1 shows that Zack Whedon gets the individual voice and personality of each character to the extent that only Joss himself could have accomplished.
For those who are unfamiliar with the original show/movie (shame on you!), the crew of Serenity had exposed the Alliance for their cover up of millions of deaths and the resultant Reaver cannibals. Leaves on the Wind sees the Alliance using standard propaganda tactics to dismiss the allegations against them, but there is a growing underground movement opposing their oppression. Of course, everybody is looking for Malcolm Reynolds and crew. This first installment was a terrifically fun book that felt like a new episode of Firefly. The story was engaging and very well-paced, and the overall tone was faithful to the show. There were some darker elements that were present which were executed with equal precision and really helped make the whole book very exciting and mysterious. The real joy in seeing the crew of the Serenity return was how perfectly they were written. Zack Whedon has a perfect grasp of the unique personality of each character including both their dialogue and their behavior.
The visuals by Georges Jeanty and Karl Story were also excellent overall. While there were admittedly a few moments of inconsistency in character appearances, most of the time the resemblance to the actors is astonishing. The illustrations are very well-detailed with fantastic environments throughout the entire book, and this also really serves to enhance the tone of the story, while really pulling the reader into the world of Serenity. The colors by Laura Martin are similarly powerful and further enhance the depth of the visuals in both realism and overall tone. The space environments in particular look really great and add a lot to the book. Overall, the visual tone is fairly reminiscent of the work typically done in the many Star Wars books published by Dark Horse, which is quite well-suited to this title. However, the visuals in Serenity surpass this shallow comparison and are quite impressive in their own right.
Firefly fans, rejoice! The long hoped for return of these characters is off to a very successful start. Leaves on the Wind #1 will please both long-time fans of the franchise and even new-comers that may not be particularly familiar with it. Knowledge of both the show and sequel film will definitely come in handy, but Serenity will likely be a fun read regardless of this.