Book Review: Serenity: Leaves on the Wind

Serenity: Leaves on the Wind

Zack Whedon, Georges Jeanty, Joss Whedon

In the film Serenity, outlaw Malcolm Reynolds and his crew revealed to the entire ‘verse the crimes against humanity undertaken by the sinister government–the Alliance. Here, in the official follow-up to the film, the crew has been in hiding since becoming everyone’s most wanted, and now they are forced to come out. River uncovers more secrets, leading these former Browncoats on a dangerous mission against the Alliance that, with hope, will bring them together again . . .

Television writer Zack Whedon (Deadwood, Southland, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) continues the saga of Joss Whedon’s space cowboys!

Leaves on the Wind is the official follow-up to Serenity, the movie sequel to the Firefly TV series.  A fair bit has happened since the end of Serenity, so the reader has to play a little bit of catch-up in this book.  Most notably, Zoe is pregnant with what I assume is Wash’s child.  They must have conceived shortly before he died in the movie.

The story was good, but I get the sense that there’s some real trouble brewing.  This graphic novel sets up what looks to be a very large story arc that will continue on for quite some time.

I rate myself as about a 75% Firefly/Serenity fan.  I enjoyed the movie and TV shows, but I’m not a browncoat (Serenity’s equivalent to Star Trek’s Trekkies).  I can’t reference episodes and I don’t remember many of the characters beyond the core cast.  However, Whedon does a good job of laying out the story so that I can remember bits and pieces and pick up tidbits if I’ve forgotten something.

I had a little difficulty with this story told as a visual medium.  There are some characters who look similar when drawn (but are much more obviously different from each other when seen on TV), and so a few times I had to look at secondary characteristics to determine who I was looking at.  (In particular, I had some trouble between River and Kaylee and sometimes Inarra; as well, for secondary characters, I had great trouble telling Jubal Early apart from “The Operative” from the Serenity movie, whose name escapes me at the moment — but he’s the “bad guy” from the movie.)  However, by slowing down my reading and really examining the artwork, I could follow along easier.

All in all, a good read.  I always find, though, that graphic novels are a quick read, especially when it’s a very large story and world like this one.


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