Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #2 continues to build off the story threads weaved by writer Zack Whedon in his brilliant first issue and doesn’t disappoint. While Whedon and his art team still deliver several heavy emotional beats, including a well-written and heartbreaking scene between former Browncoats and best buds Mal and Zoe, this issue also sets up quite a few things for down the road, including events that bring River Tam face to face with the quirky, yet deadly, bounty hunter known as Jubal Early once again, as well as a coma-induced vision quest for River that seems to indicate that the next issue may have River following a black panther through the desert . . . just with more reavers, terrifying experiments, and “hands of blue.” (You can check out Dan Dos Santos’ terrifying cover for Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #3, if you’d rather not sleep between now and when the next issue drops.)
Browncoat-wearing Bea also gets a little more time in the spotlight and is sure to win over some readers with her Mal worship and connection to the neo-Browncoat organization known as the New Resistance. While I understand there’s still a lot to be revealed about the character, I couldn’t help but think of her as Serenity’s version of Satsu (totally a compliment in my book), the a---kicking (and Buffy-kissing) slayer from Buffy: Season 8. The only difference is that Bea has a real “fangirl” angle to her character with her feelings towards Mal, the Serenity crew, and the Browncoats. Add to that her “cosplay” look, and I’d be mighty surprised if my fellow fans don’t start bonding with Bea hard and fast like I did.
It’ll be interesting to see what develops in Whedon’s scripts over the next few issues, as the themes become clearer this time out in the black. The idea that more horrific, yet valuable, Alliance secrets are hidden in River’s tortured mind is no new concept, but it will be interesting to see if Leaves on the Wind exhausts this storytelling resource or whether unlocking River’s mind, piece by piece, will be something that becomes a habit in future Serenity tales (Fingers crossed!), similar to the way the visions of those in need received by Cordelia Chase guided the vampire with a soul and his team throughout the Buffy spinoff show, Angel.
It also seems to be becoming clear that this series is about fractured crews or groups of people. Whether it’s the Firefly crew that can’t seem to stop losing members, the distrust and distance between Mal and Jayne, the lonely, difficult future for neo-Browncoat Bea of the New Resistance, or even the shadowy agents of the Alliance who are attempting to rebuild and “correct” their world, all of our characters are in a state that is scattered in some way . . . almost like leaves in the wind. (I see what you’re doing there, sir!)
The artwork featured in this series continues to be stellar. Dan Dos Santos provides an amazingly awesome and beautiful cover, featuring a pissed off Zoe in all her glory. Jeanty’s artwork is just as superb as in the last issue, and I’m absolutely loving the gorgeous, two-page spreads that allow him to truly show off the depth of his talent. Laura Martin also continues to deliver, giving Serenity: Leaves on the Wind the vibrant and stunning colors that only elevate Jeanty’s work further and make the reader feel the cold edge of space.
FINAL VERDICT: Still a MUST READ for any Serenity fan! If you’re a Browncoat lover and you still haven’t made the jump to comics, then I don’t know what to say. There’s gold in these here pages, my fellow geeks. All you need to do is pick up an issue and read.
Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #2 will be released this Wednesday, February 26th, 2014.
For more info on the series and to read a free preview of the first issue, stop by the official Dark Horse Comics website. You can also check out my review of the first issue of Serenity: Leaves on the Wind at the link below:
‘Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #1’ – Advance Comic Book Review [About Gorram Time (and Thanks a Bunch, Joss & Co.)]
That’s all for now, comic book sniffers . . . does that seem right to you?
’Till the end of the world,
Bryant the Comic Book Slayer