Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #2 Review

I don't need to tell you how much people love Firefly. The short-lived TV show has a huge following of 'browncoats' and I count myself in their numbers. I finished the TV show, and its film spin-off Serenity fairly recently and found myself completely obsessed with getting my next Firefly fix. Naturally, I was excited to see this six-part comic series continuing the story of the beloved crew of Serenity. However, after a promising first issue I have to say I'm disappointed with the second issue of this series. To my fellow Firefly fans I say this: Please don't hate me for this review.

The second issue of "Leaves on the Wind" continues the story of Captain Mal Reynolds and the crew of Serenity on the run from the alliance, and trying desperately to help Zoe who is still struggling after the difficult birth she went through last issue. This story is not the problem, it has potential to show everything that is great and strong about these characters. However, I feel like that potential is not being fulfilled due to some weak scripting from Zack Whedon.

While Whedon's script does capture the basic voices of each crew member, there's something lacking in their interactions. In the TV show, the interactions were witty at times and when jokes were not appropriate you could still feel how close-knit all the characters were. Here though, that sense of closeness has been lost somehow. It feels like the characters we know and love have had 80% of their personalities removed, leaving just their simplest traits to be seen here.
Additionally, the issue just doesn't flow well. Scenes change quite jarringly with no elegance whatsoever in the transitions to each one. It feels like I'm watching events unfold that have little to do with each other simply because everything happens so quickly. It leaves little room for any memorable moments, and makes me think that perhaps this story would have been better off in a different format, or at least a series larger than six issues.

Additionally, I had some real problems with the art in this issue from Georges Jeanty. While in the first issue I had some doubts, overall the art was passable. Here though it has really degraded. Many characters faces change throughout the issue on a scale from "quite a resemblance to the actor" to "who the hell is that even meant to be?" with the latter half of the scale the most frequently used. Even if Jeanty could get a better grasp on the cast's faces, the art is still coming across as relatively unremarkable and I feel a more capable artist could have really helped this series.


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