The next iteration of Mal Reynolds and the crew of his Firefly class vessel is on newsstands now, with Dark Horse Comics’ Serenity: Leaves on the Wind. Everyone is back, except of course for Wash, killed during the events chronicled in the movie Serenity. River has taken his place as pilot, Simon and Kaylee are finally a pair, as are Mal and Inara, while Jayne Cobb, hat and all, is gone, currently back home with his Ma.
Writer Zack Whedon knows his world and has easily deposited readers back in familiar territory. Mal arguing with Inara, saying the wrong things. River still plagued by her mind. Jayne still free-wheeling and ready to do anything for the right price. Simon the responsible doctor. Zoe is justifiably different, nightmares still remind her of her husband’s violent death. But replacing Wash is now their baby. What will it be like to have a ship’s second-in-command as a mother? How do you raise a baby without food on a derelict ship like the Serenity?
The ‘verse is also a different place. The same experiments that damaged River’s mind were uncovered to be responsible for the maniacal Reavers, yet some in the ‘verse don’t buy it. And there is a bounty on Mal’s head, and the bounty hunter is none other than Jubal Early, the blood-thirsty villain played by Richard Brooks who nearly cost every crew member their lives in the creepy last episode of Firefly. Last left floating in space at the hands of Mal, Joss Whedon had hinted over the years he wasn’t dead yet.
As with the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series, usually the characters look like their actor counterparts, but sometimes knowing whether you’re seeing River or Inara takes context from the dialogue. The panels with ship detail are particularly well drawn. With pencils by Georges Jeanty, inks by Karl Story, and colors by Laura Martin, Leaves on the Wind, Issue #1 is a good-looking start to the new mini-series—only six issues are expected. If you haven’t seen the prior comic book mini-series that followed up on the TV series and movie, check them out here.
Enough in this first issue will keep Firefly fans happy and returning for more. More likely, with only six issues to look forward to, another mini-series will likely serve as just a tease, just whetting their appetites for more and more, especially for that continued series or next film we’ll likely never see. But it’s books like Firefly spin-offs that would make sense to start creating in droves to help backfill the Star Wars series moving away from Dark Horse next year.
Serenity: Leaves on the Wind, Issue #1, is in comic book stores now. Looks for several cool variant covers, too.