"I am a leaf on the wind...watch how I soa*ugh*." And with those words, Hoban "Wash" Washburn left us and his crew behind. The first issue of the new Dark Horse miniseries, Serenity: Leaves on the Wind, shows us what happens to the crew of Serenity after the close of the 2005 movie, Serenity, itself a continuation of the events of the Fox television series, Firefly. While fans have always held out for another movie or a television continuation, the existence of this series is likely the final nail in the coffin of those dreams. But it's not all sad news, as the series is produced by Joss Whedon and written by his brother Zack. The issue starts with the big-picture after effects of Mal's broadcast at the end of Serenity. The 'verse is reeling after the revelation about Miranda and the Alliance's hand in the creation of the Reavers. Alliance-friendly segments are trying to sweep it back under the rug and their opponents are starting up a new resistance movement. There are others in the middle that just want answers. All of them want to know what has happened to Mal and his crew. The Alliance wants to bring them to justice, and the new resistance wants Mal as their figurehead/leader. One of the resistance goes so far as to call him "the greatest military mind alive." Clearly they have no idea who they're dealing with. At this point the issue jumps back on board Serenity and this is where Zack Whedon really begins to shine. He captures the voice of the characters spectacularly and you immediately feel right at home with the crew. We're treated to some resolutions at this point that we hadn't gotten before. River does indeed, take over as the pilot and has (at least for the moment) shaken her penchant for speaking in riddles. Zoe is nearing term with her and Wash's child, coping with the fact that she'll have to raise the child without him. Mal and Inara have begun an intimate relationship, although that (thankfully) hasn't curtailed their arguments. The crew are in hiding after their latest, greatest stab at the Alliance and Mal intends to keep it that way. Like his brother Joss, Zack treats us to several warm and fuzzy moments like Mal and Inara finally sharing a bit of intimacy, River sharing a moment with Zoe, listening to her baby, and finally the addition of the newest Serenity crew member, Zoe's new baby. Also, just like his brother, Zack stops at a couple points to rip our hearts out a little bit, lest we get too comfortable. Zoe is still haunted by flashbacks of her husband's death, and complications from the birth finally spur Mal out of hiding at Simon's behest to get Zoe the medical help she needs. As a whole, the issue suffers from the same problems that most Issue #1s do. Nearly the entirety of the issue is split between what is essentially "Since we last saw our heroes" and setting up what will be happening going forward. Luckily it's well executed and there is more than enough of the familiar Firefly atmosphere and voice that even though there is minimal plot advancement, the issue is still a welcome return to the 'verse. As far as future set up, it looks like we'll be dividing time between the two factions, The New Resistance and The Alliance, as they search for Serenity and the crew as they search for their new place in the 'verse. All things considered, it's a solid first issue and does it's job of welcoming you back and leaving you wanting more, even if it does so without surprises. Did I say without surprises? One pretty good surprise. Everyone's favorite bounty hunter Jubal Early. "Does that seem right to you?"
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