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Serenity Leaves on the Wind #3 is a Mediocre Middle Chapter

Serenity Leaves on the Wind #3 is a Mediocre Middle Chapter

Serenity Leaves on the Wind #3SerenityLotW


Written by Zack Whedon
Pencilled by Georges Jeanty
Inked by Karl Story
Colors by Laura Martin
Published by Dark Horse Comics

Sometimes Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #3 is very good. Artist Georges Jeanty has an impressive handle on the interior of Serenity, which is detailed and has all the nooks and crannies of the ship in the show. He, inker Karl Story, and colorist Laura Martin also illustrate a mindblowing opening sequence that takes place inside River Tam’s troubled mind. There are also little call-backs to the show that Zack Whedon inserts in his script that will make any Firefly fan smile. However, it seems that half of the comic is retelling “Objects in Space” without the philosophical elements and dark humor. Also, the reason for the change in Mal and Inara’s relationship is barely touched on. How was their sexual tension resolved? Even though this issue has a nice fight scene with Jubal Early, the plot barely moves with the exception of a crazy last page reveal. Also, some of the dialogue is clunky, and even though Jeanty can stage action scenes and draw Serenity well, he still has issues with depicting some of the characters.

Serenity_Leaves_Wind_3_cover_2With the exception of the opening look at River’s mindscape and some character beats, Zack Whedon almost lifts the entire plot of “Objects in Space” to use as the story for Serenity #3. He even takes some of the good dialogue from that episode and keep recycling it. (If I have to hear “Does that seem right to you?” again, I’ll throw my Firefly box set out the window.) The way the crew of Serenity takes down Early is inventive and clever, but his characterization has little depth and is just a retread of the show. But the issue isn’t a total wash. Whedon has a strong handle on Jayne, River, Zoe, and Kaylee’s voices and even gives Jayne a little development as he begins to realize how full of bluster he is. However, he struggles with Mal and Inara’s voices. Mal has turned into double negative spouter, and Inara has turned into exposition girl. All the snark and barbs that characterized their relationship in the show has turned to cuddles and talking vaguely about future events. This comic is also a very quick read, and the plot inches forward with the exception of the foreshadowing-heavy River’s mindscape scene and the last couple pages.

The art for Serenity #3 is actually pretty good. Georges Jeanty is skilled at arranging a scene, and his use of shadow with the help of inker Karl Story captures Jubal Early’s stealth and efficiency taking down the crew of Serenity. Colorist Laura Martin’s work continues to be the highlight of the book as she goes from the flat colors and white space of River’s mind to the dark, earthy tones of Serenity and the sleek exterior of the Alliance prison camp where Zoe is being held. Story also helps with characterization as he defines Jeanty’s pencils and give the characters’ faces real emotions. However, some of these faces look nothing like the characters. For example, Inara doesn’t look like Morena Baccarin, and the last page is a little awkward. Serenity #3 is definitely a mixed bag of a comic, but has a pretty strong beginning and end along with some decent art so the miniseries could improve as it goes into its endgame.

 

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