Saturday, November 21, 2015

Post-Serenity Adventure: Serenity: Leaves On The Wind Leaps The Firefly Story Forward!

The Good: Engaging story, Decent character progression, Some of the artwork
The Bad: Last chapter is terrible, New characters lack the familiar charisma from Firefly.
The Basics: Serenity: Leaves On The Wind continues the story of the crew of the Serenity after the film and the birth of Wash and Zoe's daughter.

The longer fans of Firefly (reviewed here!) go without a new series, the longer fans have to rely upon the graphic novels and fan fiction to get their fix. And the more graphic novels that are released set in the Firefly/Serenity universe, the more convinced fans are becoming that Firefly was actually lucky to get axed when it did. As much as it might seem to be heresy to say aloud, part of the success of Firefly came from the fact that it was cancelled before it could go bad. The latest graphic novel from the beloved television show that I've gotten my hands on is Serenity: Leaves On The Wind.

Serenity: Leaves On The Wind is the most significant graphic novel set in the Firefly after the events of the film Serenity (reviewed here!). Foreshadowed in previous volumes, Serenity: Leaves On The Wind includes the important plot event of the birth of Zoe and Wash's child. The rest of the story involves tie-ins to both the film and significant episodes of Firefly, most notably the return of the fairly crazy bounty hunter Early.

Eight months after the crew of Serenity exposed the secrets of the planet Miranda to the universe, Zoe gives birth. Her daughter, Emma, is born healthy, but Dr. Tam discovers that she is bleeding internally and the Serenity does not have the supplies needed to save her life. Since the outing of the events on Miranda, the Browncoats have risen to start a de facto rebellion against the Alliance and they want Captain Mel Reynolds to be their leader. Unfortunately, in the attempt to save Zoe's life, Zoe is captured by the Alliance and imprisoned.

When Early once again finds and boards the Serenity, the New Resistance comes into play. Working together, the crew of Serenity and the New Resistance intend to deal a blow to the Alliance and save Zoe. But their efforts are complicated when they run into a young woman experimented upon much the same way River was and their plans go to hell, forcing them to improvise.

Serenity: Leaves On The Wind blends new characters with recurring characters from Firefly and Serenity, but the book only serves to prove how right the show Firefly got it with its original character blend. Lacking Book and Wash, the book is forced to rely upon Early and the Operative from Serenity to try to find the right chemistry. Fans of relationships might be excited that Inara and Mal are making a serious attempt at a relationship now that she is disbarred from the Companions, but Tam and Kaylee are having sex throughout the book with little in the way of spark.

The concepts in Serenity: Leaves On The Wind largely work; the idea of a Resistance is a good one and the idea that Jayne left Serenity makes real sense. The artwork is good enough throughout most of the book to make all of the characters, including the Operative and Early recognizable. Ironically, Dr. Tam is not recognizable. Much of the banter - when it is present - in Serenity: Leaves On The Wind is decent, but the book has a lot of exposition it needs to deliver to explain to readers exactly what the Firefly Universe has become.

The final chapter of the book is a one-shot from Free Comic Book Day and it is pretty terrible on the artwork front and not nearly as vital on the character/story fronts.

Ultimately, Serenity: Leaves On The Wind has the potential to be like the graphic novel continuation of Angel, but this is an early chapter and it is unclear how well the new mixes of characters and relationships actually works. The Serenity becomes a colony ship briefly in Serenity: Leaves On The Wind and that helps illustrate a glimpse of the potential that a rebellion against the Alliance might truly mean. How the Firefly gang fits into all that is potentially a disaster, but Serenity: Leaves On The Wind is actually a decent-enough start to it.

For other Firefly-based books, please check out my reviews of:
Serenity: Those Left Behind
Serenity: Better Days
Serenity: The Sheperd's Tale


For other book reviews, please visit my Book Review Index Page!

© 2015 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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