With last month’s issue ending on a heart stopping cliff hanger, the third installment of Serenity: Leaves on the Wind has a lot to live up to if the series is going to continue its superb revisiting of the Firefly universe. Is it good?
Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #3 (Dark Horse Comics)
(Spoiler Alert: Hell yes, it’s good)
The issue opens with a trip into River’s crazy brain, which is (unsurprisingly) full of mutilated children.
“What the heck? I usually only dream about undead zombie kids on the weekends…”
As Simon tries to calm his sleeping/screaming sister down, Jubal Early cracks him over the head. All that now stands between him and some very bad times for the Tam family is a very frightened Kaylee.
Meanwhile, Mal and Inara discuss their crew’s dwindling rations. She convinces him to dip into the emergency stash onboard her ship…where once again, Jubal Early is present to do some head crackin’.
Down in the kitchen, Bea laments to Jayne about her disillusionment with the great Captain Reynolds. To Jayne’s credit, he forgoes the usual tough guy/a-----e act by vouching for his former boss and expressing genuine sympathy towards Bea over the death of her crew.
After Jayne leaves for his bunk, Jubal enters the kitchen and finds a surprisingly hospitable Bea, who thinks that the assassin is just another member of Serenity’s crew. This predictably ends with her tied up along with the rest of the ship. Jubal then proceeds to taunt Mal a bit about his crew’s recent hard times and losses while also trying to remember the one crew member he hadn’t caught yet.
His reminder comes in the form of a wrench cracking over his head, giving Kaylee one of the most badass moments she’s ever had on film or page. She then proceeds to do a little taunting of her own, which is pretty reasonable considering how he threatened her the last time they met.
With the Jubal threat neutralized, the crew has a chance to hear River explain what her dreams showed her: The Alliance has a lot more children in captivity who are being experimented on and cut open just like she was.
Despites Mal’s insistence that rescuing Zoe should be their only priority, River points out that their mission could greatly benefit (and will probably need) a great deal more firepower…which could be attained in the form of 10 more “other Rivers.”
Unfortunately, they would need a little additional help to pull this off, leading Mal to seek out another >terrifying figure from their past to call in a favor.
Is It Good?
Good lord, where do I even start?
…besides praising this beautifully constructed waking dream sequence
Not only are we getting two of the best villains from the show in one issue, but their appearances don’t feel shoehorned at all. It’s organic, it’s exciting, and it’s about the best way anyone could have brought these two rogues back into the fold.
I should also note that just like with the final page of the first issue, the end of this one had me squealing with glee (which once again caused the people around me at Starbucks to slowly move away from where I was sitting).
The dialogue and authenticity of the characters’ voices is also once again top notch. Rarely does a comic book actually ever make me ‘laugh out loud’ (I usually just SQTM), but Jayne had one line in particular that still made me audibly chuckle on the second read through.
Add all that in with a gloriously escalating story plus Georges Jeanty’s gorgeous artwork, and you’ve got one of the best and most enjoyable chapters in the Firefly universe across any medium. If you are any kind of Firefly fan at all, you absolutely need to be reading this series.