Comic Review: Serenity: Leaves on the Wind Part 3 (Dark Horse)

SPOILERS Here’s what’s happening. *deep breath* While River remains in her self induced coma, she muddles through her fractured mind trying to find information to use against the Alliance. While […]


Here’s what’s happening.

Leaves on the Wind 3 River 2

*deep breath* While River remains in her self induced coma, she muddles through her fractured mind trying to find information to use against the Alliance. While there she comes upon a startling discovery, but is interrupted when she senses the presence of Jubal Early. He takes over the ship and manages to capture almost everyone, but he forgets about Kaylee. She surprises him and knocks him out. While he’s contained, River reveals the information she’s stumbled upon to the crew and recommends a course of action. Mal mulls over the best way to enact their plans, but ultimately decides that they’d still need one more person to even have a chance. He goes to an unexpected place to find the help he needs. Meanwhile, Zoe has arrived on an inescapable unnamed prison planet, and vows to escape and get back to her daughter.*gasps*

All good? Ahem…

Leaves on the Wind 3 Bea


Leaves on the Wind Vol. 3 is the latest entry in the Firefly series. Not just chronologically but sequentially as well. The main purpose of the series thus far is to give us an idea of what the crew has been doing since the events of Serenity(2005), but also to set up for the next big strike against the alliance, though it’s been presented more as a desperate struggle to stay alive. It works because the Serenity is just one ship against an entire empire, so it’s not even fighting. It’s surviving. And in realistic fashion, the crew hasn’t had a job or a place to dock since they revealed the truth of what happened on Miranda for fear of what the alliance will do if they so much as catch a whiff of them, so they are dangerously low on supplies. It’s a distressing sort of situation that exacerbates the significant threat from the alliance and makes the whole story tenser in comparison. This is all fantastic. The crew of the Serenity have always seemed larger than life to us as an audience, but in such a mundane situation that could ultimately lead to their demise, we’re forced to acknowledge their humanity. And that’s why Bea is there. 

It’s not that subtle, I know. But for the first time, there’s a character that we can really relate to, and see the crew through freshly disillusioned eyes. Zack Whedon’s doing a hell of a job at making the story more palatable.

Leaves on the Wind 3 RiverSo what’s wrong with it? To be honest, it’s everything and nothing. There’s so much that doesn’t happen that I’m not sure it even merits a full issue.  Maybe all this will be fine once it’s a trade paperback, but in this format, there’s too much of a to be continued style buildup.  Remember the end of Vol. 2 and how it was supposed to lead into something incredible? Well, it just doesn’t. Jubal Early terrorizes the ship for about 10 minutes, and then gets pretty easily subdued. Then they talk about River’s epiphany that there’s more than one of her, which is more underwhelming than it should have been (they don’t even know where Zoe is, now they’re just going to saddle up and rescue her?).  Then it leads to the next “huge reveal”, which would be cool if it didn’t feel like we’re getting everything we want (I”m happy to see Mal and Inara finally together, and staring out in to space wistfully, but they could at least TRY to convey desperation). It’s like an “Avengers of Firefly!” (The irony is not lost on me…).  And yes, getting everything you want can be a bad thing. It’s all piling up, and it could be cool, but the pacing and emotional impact is practically nonexistent (Even Mal looks bored). It’s all happening too fast. There’s no time to savor any of the events that they’re feeding us. I want to like Leaves on the Wind Volume 3, and they want me to like it, but they want it a little too much.  That’s the reason it all feels so forced.  It’s trying WAY too hard.

I’m not convinced of the struggle, or the steps that are being taken, and I feel like the characters are right along with me.  I feel like this story is exactly where the Serenity is.   Stagnant, but bursting with potential.  The narrative is spending so much time building up to something, but it’s just a worthless attempt.  It has no ambtion.  I mean who knows? <aybe it’s going to be worth it.  But unfortunately, for the narrative, there’s only so much time.  and if too much of it is spent building up instead of delivering, there may not even be enough space left for a proper conclusion.  Pretty soon all that potential is going to be of a wasted variety, and that will be the biggest shame in the history of the verse.



All images courtesy of Dark Horse Comics, all rights reserved.   
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