Serenity: Leaves On The Wind #2 – Friday Flash Review

Serenity - Leaves on the Wind 02

Bane of Kings and Shadowhawk take a look at the second issue of the latest Firefly comic, set after the events of the movie Serenity.

An awesome second outing for Zack Whedon and company. Whilst Serenity: Leaves on the Wind may not see the return of the Firefly crew on screen, it’s the next best thing.” ~Bane of Kings, The Founding Fields

“Bored and uninterested. That’s all I can think of really.” ~Shadowhawk, The Founding Fields

Bane of Kings:

Story: Zack Whedon | Art: Georges Jeanty, Karl Story | Colours: Laura Martin | Cover: Georges Jeanty

Forced out of hiding, Serenity’s crew gets separated, and it becomes clear that everyone looking for the outlaws is on the verge of finding them. River offers to uncover the secrets that are hidden within her in the hope that the crew might have something to bargain with.

With the second issue of Dark Horse’s take on the events that followed the aftermath of the Serenity film now out – it’s clear that Zack Whedon and company aren’t wasting time in getting what they want done. This book sees Zoe separated from the rest of the crew, undergoing severe injuries in a hospital, as Jayne leads the group of rebels to Serenity. However – they’re being followed, and Jubal Early is back – and nobody is safe from the deadly bounty hunter.

First off, I’m going to say again that it’s great to have these characters back even if it is on a monthly basis for a limited amount of issues. Mal, River, Simon, Zoe, Jayne, Inara & Kaylee are my favourite science fiction characters quite possibly ever (even though Firefly may no longer be my favourite show – that spot has been since claimed by 2003’s Battlestar Galactica) so any new content featuring them is always welcome – and it’s very awesome to see a third act in what is more than likely looking to be a trilogy, split across the three mediums of TV, Movie and Comic Book. Whilst it’s true that so far Leaves on the Wind hasn’t quite matched the sheer brilliance of both the TV series and the movie, mainly due to the problems with the art from Georges Jeanty. Don’t get me wrong, the artwork is beginning to improve, but as of right now it’s still not quite there.

The plot itself also looks similar on the surface, but for one major new addition to the Firefly ‘verse, in the form of Bea, leader of the New Resistance against the Alliance that was spawned following the exposure of the Reavers true nature of origin by Mal on Miranda in the final act of Serenity. Bea represents a welcome new ally for the often outgunned and outnumbered Firefly crew – and with her fresh new addition for the team it’ll be interesting to see how things play out from here.

I’ve already voiced my complaints about Georges Jeanty’s artwork (which is, at least – consistent in tone throughout the book) but the colours from Laura Martin are just excellent. They really fit the atmospheric tone of the Firefly ‘verse and you get the feeling that this could quite easily be an episode of the TV show. Martin’s colours are great and there are several awesome panels that really improve Jeanty’s artwork. Whether you’re a fan of the artwork or not though, Serenity: Leaves on the Wind is a comic still worth sticking with, especially if you’re a fan of the show – and I’m assuming you are, because otherwise – why would you be reading this comic otherwise? People who haven’t seen the show or the film should go back and watch them both before coming back here. Two issues in, we’re quite clearly not going to be newcomers friendly by this point. There’s a lot of stuff going on here that will be unfamiliar to newcomers – and why wouldn’t you want to give the show a pass? It’s awesome.

It’ll be interesting to see where Serenity: Leaves of the Wind goes from here. The book is very solid and I’m falling in love with these characters all over again, so I can’t wait for next month and hopefully this mini-series will spark a return of more Dark Horse Firefly comics in the future.

Rating: 4/5

Serenity - Leaves on the Wind 02

Shadowhawk:

When Dark Horse released Serenity: Leaves On The Wind #1 last month, I was pretty excited for it. I loved the show way back when, and I loved the movie. The new comic, it promised a lot of interesting and intriguing things, and the second issue, released this week, was very promising as well. But somewhere along the way, it all fell incredibly flat, and the story just could not hook me all that much. In fact, I rather regret reading this issue because this is nothing like what I was expecting, or wanting from this issue. Story was boring. Art was a disappointment. And so on. One thing after another until it threatened to completely ruin my mood while reading the comic.

Last month’s issue had a few areas that needed working on, and some that were pretty good. Unfortunately, it turns out that in the second issue the problems are magnified several-fold while the good bits were all pretty much ignored. Throughout this new issue, there never really was a compelling element for me to latch on to. And that is the biggest disappointment of all. Yeah, there are some interesting twists in the story here in the second half, but they aren’t really worth it as far as I’m concerned.

Boring and uninteresting. Let’s add completely lackluster to the list as well. All that this issue is, is just a way to bring all these characters together and nothing else beyond that. The plot is incredibly simplistic despite all the promise of the previous month’s ages. And because of that simplicity, the pacing suffers because it really is all over the place. There are so many frustrating decisions made by the crew in this issue, not the least of which is to get jumped by amateurs when they can least afford something like that, such as the fact that the entire Alliance and its cadre of bounty hunters is looking for them. Its all rather frustrating, because the source material is much better than this, for the most part.

I mean, I’m really not sure where exactly it is that Zach Whedon is going with this story because I don’t see any plan here.

But the biggest culprit and stumbling block here is the art, which is even more disappointing, on pretty much every level. The characters look nothing like their television counterparts. Of them all, none are even recognisable now, because its hard to make out which of the women are talking, whether River or Inara or Kaylee. This reflects very poorly on the tie-in job itself. The characters are stiff, the backgrounds highly uninteresting, and just overall disappointment. Oh and the cover art. Normally I love Dos Santos’ colours, but had to make an exception in this case, because this is really not a Muslim should be like, for instance.

When all is said and done, Serenity: Leaves on The Wind #2 is one of the most disappointing things I’ve read of late.

Rating: 4/10

More Serenity: #1.

Shadowhawk is a regular contributor to TFF. A resident of Dubai, Shadowhawk reads, reads and reads. His opinions are always clear and concise. His articles always worth reading.

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