By Zack Whedon, Georges Jeanty, Karl Story & Laura Martin
The Serenity miniseries, Leaves on the Wind, finished up this week with the final issue. While the series had a very strong start, the overall depth of the plot gradually became shallower as the story progressed. While still definitely a whole lot of fun to read, the final installment felt even more rushed in terms of the overall execution.
Zack Whedon crafted a wonderfully happy ending in issue #6, while still leaving things very much open to continuing in the next title. Furthermore, these new pieces introduced to Serenity toward the end of the book were particularly interesting and exciting. However, it really felt like this issue was quite rushed in an effort to wrap up the story in the allotted six issues. Whether this was just the way the story was intentionally written, or the creators painted themselves into a corner with respect to the time available to finish the story, the book felt anticlimactic overall. Every conflict was wrapped up far too easily and quickly, which actually sort of cheapened the preceding plot building in previous issues. There were also some confusing moments that may have left too much to the imagination; what the heck went down between Zoe and Early?! Despite all of the negative criticism put forward here, you’ll just have to try to accept that this was still a fun read.
The visuals in this final installment, on the other hand, look better than ever. Georges Jeanty and Karl Story lay down some terrific illustrations and inks that are presented with a lot more depth in general, compared to the still wonderful earlier issues. The characters in particular also feel more dynamic and fluid in Leaves on the Wind #6, and the overall accuracy and consistency of their facial features is making a subtle comeback to the level we saw with issues #1 and #2. There were also some really interesting panel designs that actually helped to visually set this one apart. As with the illustrations, Laura Martin’s colors are even more vibrant and deep than before, making this book look especially bold. There is a real sense of energy and life through each panel, with the forested encounter between Zoe and Early really highlighting this aspect.
While the book was still pretty fun and the visuals were quite good, the overall execution of this one was a bit of a flop. It almost felt like a lot of the series ended up being somewhat pointless as everything was cleaned up so neatly and with such relative ease. Again, this is not to say the book was unenjoyable as a whole. However, there really should have been more to this. Luckily, we’re set for another Serenity miniseries sometime in the future, and the end of Leaves on the Wind opened some potentially exciting new directions.