Yes, the Firefly-‘Verse lives again in comic book form. I’ll assume that if you’re reading this by now, you’ve probably already picked up a copy. Or I doubt my review is going to influence anyone on their purchasing decision of this issue, so be warned: here be spoilers.
I will admit, though my efforts, that Whedon’s ‘Verse is very much a visual work (hence why I’m now trying to find an artist). TV/Movie is the best form for it, but comics are a worthwhile third choice (an animated TV/Movie series – the mix of the two – would be the 2nd). A quick refresher on all the comics:
- Those Left Behind – The transition between the series & the movie. Not bad but being only 3 issues hurt the narrative, especially with the revelation of the Hands of Blue.
- Better Days – An “extra” story of season 1, again only 3 issues but with a lighter, self-contained story the pacing is much improved. However some parts of the story might be offputting to some fans.
- The Shepherd’s Tale – The backstory of Shepherd book which was released in graphic novel form first thing rather than individual issues. This is… very debatable. Like some, I’m content with leaving Shepherd’s story unknown. However if it must be told… I must say I slightly favor the “what if” episode 217 origin over this one – but that’s a discussion for another post.
- Miscellaneous issues – There have also been 4 single issues released in either digital or print format. The one that was an extended funeral for Wash (Float Out) is by far the must read.
Leaves on the Wind is the first real story post-movie (even Float Out was more flashback) so of course we’re all dying to know what happens in the ‘Verse after the signal got out (*cough*). So far the first issue is just set up. We see where the crew, other characters, and our crew are at this moment. Inara and Mal are together… Zoe is having her baby… all groundwork this issue.
If I had any complaint, it’s sort of about the artwork. As I said, this property is one heavily relying on visuals and while the artist is quite good most of the time, periodically one is baffled by what one is supposed to be picking up from a panel. It’s ironic because Dark Horse’s free comic last year had a Serenity story in it with a very stylized art, meaning that I could often tell characters and action easily at a glance. This issue, with a more realistic art style, can baffle at times. The first time we see River, I wasn’t sure if it was her or Kaylee, not even from the dialogue until a page later. Some characters I’m not sure if I’m supposed to recognize them or if they are new to this “season” of the show. The art isn’t so baffling as to make the issue unreadable, just enough to shake you a hair out of the story a time or two.
Still, I eagerly await the next issue. (and will give the entire saga a grade once it’s finished) Here’s hoping nothing I’m writing has to be junked. 😉