Since the cancellation of ‘Firefly’ over ten years ago, fans have been clamoring for more tales from Joss Whedon’s cult classic space western. Luckily, we were lucky enough to get the major motion picture ‘Serenity’ and a few comic book tie-ins here and there, but we’ve never actually gotten a legitimate continuation of the story after the movie. Well now, thanks to Dark Horse Comics, we have a direct sequel to the adventures of Captain Malcolm Reynolds and his crew after they shared with the entire verse the news of how the Reavers were created by a failed Alliance experiment called ‘Serenity: Leaves on the Wind’.
In the first issue of this brand new series, we learn that people of the verse are extremely divided on the issue of Miranda, the birthplace of the Reavers and the resting place of thirty million innocent people. In fact, they’re so at odds that a new resistance has risen to oppose the Alliance. The only thing that they both agree on is that Mal Reynolds needs to be found and held accountable for his actions, whether it be face Alliance punishment or be the face of a whole new legion of Browncoats.
However, Mal wants none of this at the moment and is lying as low as possible. After a bloody last stand that left beloved crewmembers Shepherd Derrial Book and Hoban “Wash” Washburne in graves, the crew of Serenity has dwindled even further as Jayne Cobb has opted to go home, leaving Mal with only Dr. Simon Tam, his sister/new pilot River Tam, mechanic Kaylee Frye, decommissioned companion Inara Serra, and pregnant first mate Zoë Washburne. But the Alliance is about to send our a familiar face to bring them all in that has experience in tracking Serenity when the vessel and her crew want to lay low.
The first thing that I have to say is that this is the continuation that every ‘Firefly’ fan has been waiting for. It’s every bit as delightful, heartbreaking, funny, and intriguing as the show that we know and love. This issue managed to touch on loose ends from the movie and the last episode of the show and it did so quite masterfully. Writer Zack Whedon didn’t miss a beat in bringing his brother’s characters back to life.
One thing I was worried about though was the idea of Wash showing up. He was my favorite character on the show, as he was a favorite of many others as well, and with a book called ‘Leaves on the Wind’, it would be hard to imagine that Wash wouldn’t pop up. Just as predicted, his presence was felt throughout the book. Sure, this isn’t how we wanted to see Wash again, but it was worth all the emotions that came with it. From his dinosaurs that inevitably betray him appearing on the bridge right where he left him to Zoe’s terribly soul-crushing dream to the birth of his lovely daughter Emma, Wash’s memory is alive and well on Serenity and I appreciate it very much.
Another greatly appreciated aspect of this book is the many callbacks to the show. Other than the obvious nods like the returning bounty hunter, the Operative’s blade, Jayne’s hat, and more, this story got to the core of each character and captured them perfectly. Jayne is a sucker when the money is right. Mal is stubborn but will always do what needs to be done when one of his crew is in jeopardy. Kaylee sees the best in everybody. River is full of surprises. All of these things held very true in the first issue and long-time fans should be very happy with this series so far.
There’s no way that I’ll be missing the next issue. This one just gave me so many feelings. We may never get to see all the actors reprise their roles on any sort of screen again, but this most certainly is the next best thing.
SERENITY: LEAVES ON THE WIND #1
Written by Zack Whedon
Art by Georges Jeanty, Karl Story, & Laura Martin
Cover by Dan Dos Santos
Executive Produced by Joss Whedon