Serenity: Leaves On The Wind Graphic Novel ReviewNovember 6, 2014
I didn’t realize how much I missed Firefly until I started reading Serenity: Leaves On The Wind. All the good memories came flooding back, the great characters, the eclectic language and the wonder, wit and charm written into each and every episode. Since I’ve finished reading it, I can tell all of you Firefly fans they did a good job and didn’t stomp all over the memory of a great but short lived show.
Serenity: Leaves On The Wind starts off in familiar territory by picking up the story nine months after the 2005 movie. Thanks to Malcolm Reynolds broadcast to almost everyone in the known universe about the dirty little secret the Alliance had been hiding about the deaths of millions and the creation of the cannibalistic Reavers, things are a little tense to the point that the whole galaxy seems ready for another civil war.
The story begins with news agencies, both legit and otherwise, from all over the galaxy weighing in on these revelations and the possible part the Alliance played in all of it. Shock and disbelief for some, outrage and towing the company line for others. Still, it is a chaotic scene in which the reader first joins and it’s a great way to jump right in with both feet.
Of course, the big question still surrounds Malcolm Reynolds and his current location. The Alliance wants him dead but has to be discreet about it while the newly forming rebellion wants him to join their cause, and word starts to spread about his military genius and intelligence. This brought a smile to my face because as anyone who watched the show would know, Reynolds was wrong as many times as he was right.
As it turns out the crew of the Serenity are indeed in hiding, licking their wounds from the recent losses they suffered and figuring out what to do next. There are some real surprises for fans of this ragtag crew as the whole dynamic changes, beginning at the start of this book and continues right to the end. Some fans will definitely be happy at what has transpired behind the walls of Serenity while others…
Writer Zack Whedon (Yes, brother of Joss Whedon) does an excellent job capturing the language and relationships between the Serenity crew while at the same time giving the proper amount of attention to the bit players and bad guys (both old and new) Everyone also seems to get at least one moment to shine in this book, which is also a calling card of the TV show. While Joss may not have wrote this his brother Zack writes like he is channeling him through his pen, and this turns out to be a good thing.
Artist Georges Jeanty also does a great job here, bringing the characters back to life with easy to follow paneling and just the right amount of flair. His close up work on the characters faces is also exceptional and there was a few times where I literally thought I was seeing the real person. While some of drawings may seem a bit too cartoony for some I found them more realistic than a lot of graphic novels I’ve read.
While the strength of the TV show and this novel lies in the relationships between the Serenity crew, it is also at times a weakness as it threatens to start going overboard delving into too many back stories which tends to make it sound more like a space soap opera than its usual tagline of a western in space.
However, this is a minor complaint in a book that is very well done from beginning to end. It did make me sad, realizing this was probably as close to a sequel or another TV show that fans are ever going to see. Still, if that’s the case, it has done the story line proud and should be read by fans of the show without hesitation.
I would advise that if you are only a part time fan or if this is your first ride in the Firefly/Serenity rodeo to go watch the TV series and movie first. There are many relationships and inside jokes you might miss out on and some huge plot points that might not make sense. It is a great investment of your time and then you will have this graphic novel to look forward to when you are done. (Hey, Christmas is just around the corner!)