By Tami Katzoff
Browncoats (fans of Joss Whedon’s short-lived TV show “Firefly” and its feature film follow-up “Serenity”) have had reason to rejoice since Dark Horse Comics announced that the adventures of Captain Malcolm Reynolds and Co. will continue with a new six-issue comic series, “Serenity: Leaves on the Wind.” What makes this even sweeter for fans is the choice of writer for the series: television scribe Zack Whedon... Also known as Joss’ little brother.
Most of the previously published Firefly/Serenity comics, including those scripted by Zack, focused on backstory, or events that occurred between the TV show and the film. “Leaves on the Wind” will be the first series to pick up the action right where “Serenity” left off. It commences roughly 39 weeks after the Serenity crew managed to give the big bad guys of the Alliance a sizeable butt-kicking, with a very pregnant Zoe (widow of lovably eccentric pilot Wash) triggering the crux of the story.
“The birth is imminent in the first issue,” Zack Whedon told MTV News when we caught up with him by phone. “The difficulties of childbirth sort of forced them to step out into the world a little bit when they’ve been trying to hide out and fly under the radar and not be seen or heard from, but because of Zoe and her pregnancy they’re forced to abandon that idea.”
The series’ title honors the recently departed Wash, who was fond of reciting “I am a leaf on the wind; watch how I soar” while in the pilot seat. It’s also an appropriate metaphor for what happens to the crew in this new series. “The nature of the story is that there are a lot of forces pushing them around and altering their path,” Zack Whedon said. “A leaf on the wind doesn’t have control over where it’s going and neither do they at this point. They’re sort of reacting to all these forces that are out of their control.”
Whedon revealed that fans will be introduced to a new Browncoat named Bea -- “a member of a new sort of resistance movement” -- as well as “a bunch of new evil people.” But the story will essentially focus on the core crew. “That’s why people are going to pick up this comic book, to revisit those characters, so I wanted to spend as much time with them as possible,” he said. “Finding a great moment for each of them is not easy but it’s something I’m trying to do.”
Though he wouldn’t elaborate on certain guy-girl relationships (like the ones involving Mal, Inara, Kaylee and Simon), Whedon did hint that there will be some sort of an evolution in that area. “I’m sort of excited about that aspect of it,” he said. “I think it might catch people off guard in a good way.”
Whedon is responsible for writing each of the six issues in the “Leaves on the Wind” series, but if the story extends beyond this initial run he won’t be involved. “Not that it isn’t pleasant,” he explained. “I really enjoy it, but just in the practicality of everyday life where I’m trying to work on material of my own, and I’m working on a television show, I have a day job. It means that finding the time to work on the comics is really difficult.” Whedon’s current day job is scripting the upcoming AMC drama “Halt & Catch Fire” starring Lee Pace and Scoot McNairy.
“My dream is that [Dark Horse] could arrange for a writer who knows the property and really cares about it, or a series of writers like that, to take over in six-issue chunks or ten-issue chunks or something like that,” Whedon said. “Each person who loves this universe could put their imprint on it and tell the kind of stories that they wanted to see, and I think that would be really cool.”
Serenity: Firefly Class 03-K64—Leaves on the Wind #1, with artwork by Georges Jeanty and covers by Dan Dos Santos, is on sale January 29th. In the meantime, check out the cover to issue #2: