Sunday, August 10, 2014

Serenity: Leaves on the Wind

Over the years, we've been given glimpses of the Serenity crew through the medium of comics. (Most have been set post-Firefly/pre-Serenity.) Ever since a one shot released on Free Comic Book Day in 2012 set post-Serenity that showed a pregnant Zoe, I've been dying for more tales. Earlier this year, Dark Horse Comics granted my wish with the publication of the first issue of Serenity: Leaves on the Wind.

The story picks up a short time after the events of the film and opens with Zoe about to give birth as they're trying to stay under the radar and hide from the Alliance. River is in the pilot's seat now, and as a nice nod, Wash's dinosaurs still adorn the console. Things go wrong and Zoe needs care that Simon is not equipped to handle, so they travel to an outpost with better med facilities, only to have the Alliance show up. Zoe insists that they leave her, so that her child will be safe, telling him "I can take care of myself." The plot turns then to figuring out how to rescue Zoe and along the way, see some familiar faces. We also get a taste of the program that River was part of before Simon rescued her, and it ain't pretty. 

Along the way, we also learn that a movement has sprung up that calls itself the New Resistance. (When we first see Jayne in the story, he's been tracked down by one of their members in hopes of finding Mal.) They've co-opted the Independent's flag as part of their symbol and rally around Malcolm Reynolds as their hero. 

Each of the characters gets time to shine, in some small way, and certain 'shippers will find some great stuff in these pages. 

The story is by Zack Whedon, with art by Georges Jeanty, a name familiar to some from his work on Buffy Season 8. Cover art is by Dan Dos Santos, and Joss Whedon is listed as an executive producer. Zack really captured the voice & tone of the characters, obviously he is a fan of his brother's work and paid attention. He gives Jayne a bit of dialogue that cracked me up, because it's a line that only Jayne could deliver! Jeanty's style may not be for everyone, but I enjoy it. (I also might be a teeny bit biased because 4 years ago I saw him at Phoenix Comicon and he geeked out with me about the Buffyverse for about half an hour. And he signed my stuff...and was super cool.) One of my favorite images is near the end of issue 6. It has no characters, just Serenity in flight, with clouds at her back, and a single green leaf in the foreground, drifting. 

So, fellow Browncoats, if you've had a yearnin' for the story of what happened after Serenity, do yourself a favor and pick up this series. It's all done now, so you can read it all in one go. I picked them up as they were released, but after seeing that issues 1 and 2 both ended on cliffhangers, decided to save myself some heartache by waiting until the run was finished. Sadly, there don't seem to be plans for more right now, but that could always change...and it was left wide open to continue. I'll leave you with an image of my favorite cover, issue 6. Stay shiny and keep flyin'...