Serenity: Leaves on the Wind
Publication date January 29, 2014[1]
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Creative Team
Written by Zack Whedon[1]
Penciller(s) Georges Jeanty[1]
It's Never Easy
The Warrior and the Wind

Serenity: Leaves on the Wind is a comic miniseries, set nine months after the events of Serenity. The first issue of six was released on January 29th, 2014.[1] The series follows Malcolm Reynolds and his crew dealing with the consequences of revealing that the Alliance was responsible for creating the Reavers.[2]

The series is written by Zack Whedon and the artwork is by Georges Jeanty, who previously illustrated the 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' comics. The series will be the first major story set after the film, and the third overall, preceded by one-shots Float Out and It's Never Easy.[1]

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Issue 1[edit | edit source]

Eight months after the broadcast was put out from Miranda, the Union of Allied Planets (Alliance) are still in search of those responsible for the broadcast.

The comic opens with news pundits discussing the broadcast that seems to have divided The Verse into two sides - people who believe the information about Miranda and the origins of Reavers was a fake and a hoax, and those who believe the broadcast, which means people know what the Alliance is capable of hiding with their power.

Meanwhile, an Alliance commander is meeting with two Operatives in the effort to find the Firefly-class transport ship and a reward is put out for Malcolm Reynolds and his crew.

A resistance Browncoat group is also in search of Mal so he can lead the movement against The Alliance. Bea (one of the rebels) is met by a man who claims to be cousins with a member (most likely Jayne) who used to ride Serenity with Mal and offers his help to track the captain down.

Serenity (now piloted by River Tam) is parked in the middle of nowhere. Mal and Inara Serra talk of how lying low meant Inara was decommissioned from being a companion and the crew were low on money and food, and that they need to take a job. Leading up to their intercourse, they discuss the crew who would be able to complete a job; River has been more stable since Miranda and Jayne leaving the ship.

Heavily pregnant, Zoe is joined by River and they talk about the ship being so quiet with many of the crew gone and that they miss everyone, including Jayne. Once River leaves, Zoe swears that that she will never forgive Wash for making her go through this pregnancy alone, when he appears as a part of her imagination. She asks for him to stay and her hallucination relives his death as she goes into labor.

Zoe (who seems to have interrupted Simon and Kaylee, as well as Inara and Mal) is put into the infirmary to give birth with Simon's assistance while everyone else waits outside. She gives birth to a healthy girl, naming her Emma (after jokingly naming her Hoban like her dad). Simon pulls Mal aside and says there were complications with the birth. Although the baby is fine, apparently Zoe had internal bleeding and Simon could not be sure to the extent without using hospital equipment. Although the crew are meant to be lying low, Mal is willing to take a risk to save Zoe. He tells the crew to get ready to take off and River sets course for the closest hospital, an independent paquin-mining contractor with a private medical ship. River starts up the ship, quoting Wash's last words as they take off.

Believed to be dead, Jubal Early makes an appearance when he comes to talk to the Operatives about finding Mal and his crew in the interest of the bounty.

Finally we see Jayne who is being pursued by several members of a raiding party (from whom he has just stolen). He is able to shake them off by making them crash their rides and Jayne makes it back to his house, where he lives with his Ma since having left Serenity with his haul. He walks in to find the Browncoat rebels waiting for him, while his Ma seems to be knitting a sweater to match his beanie. When he asks why he would want to help them, they offer a briefcase full of cash, which he doesn't think twice about accepting.

Issue 2[edit | edit source]

Jubal shares a meal with the Operatives, telling them that he spent a night on Serenity, but underestimated the nature of his opponent. The female Operative asks how he will find Serenity with the ship in the wind. Jubal answers that he needs someone else to lead him to them.

Meanwhile, Jayne has joined Bea's crew, stating that he knows a few hiding places Mal might be. Retiring to the galley with Bea, she asks why he left Serenity. Jayne admits that he's man of action, which didn't sit well with Mal's plan to go into hiding. He then alludes his past history of being worshiped as a hero, to which Bea offers sarcasm, before pointing a gun in his face, reminding that she wants to find Mal and for him to talk less.

Despite the risk of being identified by the Alliance, Serenity arrives at the Paquin asteroid mining operation to get medical attention for Zoe, who is suffering complications from giving birth. Once onboard the medical station, Simon explains to the resident doctor that Zoe is suffering from an obstetrical hemorrhage. After getting her diagnosed, the doctor tells Mal and Simon that it would take five days for Zoe to return to Serenity after surgery. Meanwhile, Kaylee detects a wanted bulletin for Mal on the Cortex, which Inara relays to him. Despite his reluctance to leave Zoe, she urges him to leave, promising she'll be fine. Mal and Simon then disappear, as a squad of Alliance soldiers burst into the room and train their guns on Zoe.

Serenity takes refuge at the Goodrow Baron Dumping Grounds, the crew holding solemn silence for the loss of their crewmate. River suggests that they trade her, or rather her brain, for Zoe, as she believes she knows more secrets (besides the one about Miranda) that the Alliance doesn't want made public, and throws a series of drugs that would put her in a medically-induced coma. Simon refuses to consent to this, insisting that she just got back to normal. River then reflexively kicks a knife into the wall, insisting that she'll never be normal.

River is then strapped down and sedated. Simon tells Mal that she'll be under for the next twelve hours at least. Suddenly, Inara comes in, announcing that they have a problem. It's Bea's ship. To the surprise of the crew, Jayne's voice comes over the radio. The two ships then dock with each other as Jayne and Bea come over to Serenity. Mal asks about the complement of her ship, to which she answers twelve. Mal orders Kaylee to close the bay and unmoor Serenity. Bea then explains that she wants to recruit him to the New Resistance. Mal bluntly refuses, stating that his enemies would pay handsomely for his whereabouts and between Bea's crew and Jayne, most likely someone ran their mouth, allowing their ship to be tailed. While Bea insists they weren't followed, on her ship, Jubal exits out the airlock, having slaughtered her crew and planted a bomb. Once he's aboard Serenity, Bea's ship explodes. Serenity then flees the scene.

Zoe wakes up to find an Alliance officer, introducing himself as Rodgers, standing over her. He wants to know where Serenity is, but he knows that she wouldn't betray her friends. He then tells her that once she's healthy enough to travel, he's gonna dump her on a prison planet where her friends won't find her nor will she ever see Emma again.

Back on Serenity, Mal talks with Jayne, who asks if he can help rescue Zoe. Mal plainly says he can't trust him because he took money over loyalty to the crew and tells him that first chance they get they'll drop him someplace safe.

As the crew retire for the evening, Jubal infiltrates the med bay and looms over a comatose River.

Issue 3[edit | edit source]

Deep in River's subconscious mind, she is a gigantic observer as she views her memories of the Academy, where she rediscovers the inhumane experiments performed on her and other children before fast forwarding to the part where Simon rescues her.

In reality, River starts to scream in her sleep. Simon attempts to comfort her only for Jubal to sneak up behind him and knock him out. Kaylee witnesses this from a distance.

In Mal's cabin, Inara expresses her concern about their food shortage, especially with Jayne and Bea in their company. Mal assures her there are rations in her old shuttle but Inara insists that they can't run forever.

Mal goes to the cockpit to find one ration bar, before Jubal sneaks up on him, reminding him he put him in space, before knocking him out.

In the galley, Bea laments how much she wasted trying to find Mal. Jayne assures her that Mal has principles and advises her to prey on those. He also adds that he himself is a sharpshooter. He then expresses his sympathy for the loss of her crew. As he returns to his room, he berates himself for telling Bea how good he is at killing people. As soon as he climbs down the ladder, Jubal sneaks into the galley. Bea mistakes him for one of the crew, which he takes advantage of to bind her.

Down in the cargo hold, Jubal has Mal, Simon and Bea captive. Mal demands to know where Inara is. Jubal says that he locked both her and Jayne in their rooms. He then asks where Shepherd Book and Wash are. Mal tells him they're dead and mentions that Zoe was captured. Jubal then notes that there is one person he's missing. Then suddenly, Kaylee clocks him with a wrench. When Jubal comes to, Kaylee has him wrapped in chains. She then threatens to torture him as she brings a pair of pliers close to his eye, before refraining, revealing that she only wanted to make him wet himself.

Later, in the galley, Simon asks what River saw while she was under. She reveals that there are other children like herself who were experimented on and they must be rescued. However, Mal says that rescuing Zoe should be their priority. River reasons that it'd be easier if they had ten of her.

Mal talks with Inara in the cockpit, the latter reasoning that raiding the lab where River was being held captive could allow them to restock and gain contraband to sell. However, Mal reminds her that they must find the facility first and that means recruiting someone who knows how the Alliance thinks. Inara doesn't like his idea but says that if it's to save Zoe, it justifies a lot.

Meanwhile, Zoe is brought to a desert prison colony. She meets her new cellmate, who tells her that no one escapes. However, Zoe optimistically declares that she will escape.

On a snowy planet, Mal scales a mountain to a cabin at the top, where he finds the Operative who pursued Serenity previously. The Operative assumes that Mal had come to kill him, but when told he needs his help, the Operative is happy to provide.

Issue 4[edit | edit source]

There is silence amongst the entire crew as Mal and the Operative walk onboard. Jayne later asks Mal if he can kill the Operative after they've rescued Zoe. Mal doesn't advise it, as he barely survived the last two times he tangled with him. Also, Mal may want to kill him. Jayne insists in drawing straws.

As Serenity lifts off, Kaylee dumps Jubal Early out with the trash.

The crew assembles to discuss how to infiltrate the Alliance facility. Because of Simon's successful caper with River, the Operative himself beefed up security. He then explains that all ships will be scanned and identified upon approaching the facility, thus they cannot use Serenity. Instead, they'll need a passenger shuttle and a security clearance code. The Operative can cover the latter while Bea supplies the former with her New Resistance contacts. When asked how sure she is the New Resistance will help, she says that if Mal, a war hero, turns up, they'll be happy to contribute. Off to the side, Kaylee confides her uncertainty having the Operative on the ship, but Inara reasons that Mal is doing what's necessary to save Zoe.

Serenity lands on Sihnon and makes contact with the New Resistance.

Meanwhile, Zoe learns from One-Eye the layout of the prison. It's an open-air prison. If anyone tries to run, either the desert or the inmates will kill them. Zoe then spots another one-eyed prisoner picking on another and swiftly beats him.

Back on Sihnon, Kaylee gives Mal a big red button and then Mal shares a kiss with Inara. Everyone, excluding Kaylee, Simon, Inara and Emma then set off on their mission. When they arrive at the facility, they encounter no resistance until they notice another shuttle touching down, with the two other Operatives inside. The allied Operative tells Mal and company to go on ahead. Racing through the facility with River as their guide, they reach a wall, which Jayne blows through with Vera. On the other side, they find a scientist who recognizes River.

The Operative confronts one of his former compatriots, Denon, telling him that Kalista should've come in his place, as he's no match for him. The Operatives then clash.

Back inside, the scientist shows River the other test subjects in stasis, whom he claims were inferior to her. One of the test subjects awakens, with a murderous look on her face. "Run." River says.

Issue 5[edit | edit source]

The female test subject attacks Mal and company, single handedly trouncing them. Stabbed in the neck, Mal tells Bea to run as he is punched in the nose.

A flashback reveals that the big red button was once part of Serenity helm, installed by Wash, to link both docked shuttles. In another flashback, it turns out that before heading out, Mal had Kaylee remove the device and rig it to bring Serenity to his location, figuring that the mission may go south. When they meet the New Resistance, Mal tells the assembled browncoats that they're Plan B.

In the present, Mal regains consciousness and hits the big red button. He then fills a syringe with a sedative, which he passes to River, enabling her to sedate her opponent.

Outside, the Operative decapitates Denon, remarking that he did not die a good death. As Bea rejoins him, the female Operative steps out, at which he tells Bea to surrender. As Rodgers and a squad of soldiers step out of the shuttle, the Operative tells the female Operative that he wants an honourable death. Suddenly, Serenity appears overhead and from it spills a hoard of browncoats, who overwhelm the Alliance forces and take Rodgers captive. The female Operative flees as Mal and company exit the building with the unconscious supersoldier.

Once Serenity is clear of the facility, Simon tends to the injured while their prisoners are restrained. Bea tells Rodgers that Mal will decide his fate. Rodgers laughs and says that he's their true leader. He reveals that the New Resistance had the advantage of disorganization but now that that's gone, the Alliance has targeted all NR cells hours ago, leaving the complement of Serenity as all that remains. Mal then emerges from the crowd, declaring that's going to change. He faces down Rodgers, stating that as much as he wants to avoid the Alliance, they aren't keen to let him be. Knocking him down, Mal demands to know where Zoe is. When Rodgers refuses, Mal suggests he think of his answer, as River steps forward.

Issue 6[edit | edit source]

Zoe wraps her bloodied hand as One-Eye remarks that she's getting a reputation amongst the inmates. However, she does warn that she may have beaten three today, the number of attackers will increase until they finally get her. Zoe says that she won't remain long, claiming her friends will come for her, though One-Eye is skeptical.

Back on Serenity, Mal holds up a map of all the planets and moons in the 'Verse, as River extracts Zoe's location from Rodgers. River then joins Simon and Kaylee in the med bay, observing the female supersoldier, who wakes up screaming, forcing Simon to sedate her with a tranquilizer dart. River tells her brother to help this poor girl remember who she is, stating she has faith in his abilities.

In the mess hall, Mal outlines the plan to rescue Zoe. Only he and one other will rescue her, as the desert planet is mostly uninhabited and if they come from around the far side, no one will notice. Inara reminds them that they need a way to signal Zoe that they're coming, for which Kaylee has an idea.

Bea follows Mal out of the mess, insisting that she accompany him, but he still refuses. Bea then says that her father fought in the Unification War, having died in the battle of Serenity Valley believing that Mal would turn the tide. She sought him out thinking the same thing. Mal reminds her that the war is over and says that the mission can only go one way and he can't help her if she's in over her head. Bea responds that she understands the risks and the stakes and wants to fight regardless. Taking a moment to think, Mal asks her father's name. She identifies him as Li Quiang. He consents to bringing her along.

Zoe and One-Eye are rudely awoken by a loud sound. She looks out the window and spots Serenity. The next morning, out in the yard, Zoe looks into the distance and spots a flash, prompting her to run. The prison guards are content to let her go and die in the heat, only to spot Mal, Bea and the Operative racing towards them in the Mule. The guard cries prison break, before one is sniped by Jayne, the other hit over the head by One-Eye with a rock. Zoe rejoins her friends as a whole brigade of guards on hoverbikes pursue them. Holding off their pursuers, the group return to Serenity, leaving a bound Rodgers behind. Once aboard, Zoe asks to see Emma and tearfully takes her daughter into her arms.

Landing on Theophrastus, as the Operative prepares to depart, he tells Mal that if Rodgers is wise, he'll tell the Alliance to leave them alone, but eventually someone else will pick up the hunt.

Meanwhile, the supersoldier, having regained her sanity, identifies herself as Iris. She remembers everything the Alliance did to her and wants to make them pay, to which Bea offers her membership in the New Resistance. Inara also offers some new attire to wear that's less conspicuous than a bodysuit.

Meanwhile, Zoe catches up to the Operative, reminding that though he did rescue her, it doesn't make up for Wash's death. She tosses him a gun. The Operative states that he will defend himself and picks it up as they prepare to draw.

As Iris tries out one of Inara's dresses and a wig, Mal tells Zoe (who presumably killed the Operative) that she can take Emma and settle down. She declines, stating that Serenity is Emma's home and family. Later in the cockpit, Mal holds Inara in his arms as she asks what happens now. He answers that, same as ever, "Take to the sky, see where it leads." He radios Kaylee to fire up the engines, interrupting her having sex with Simon.

Meanwhile, the female Operative recovers a badly wounded, but alive, Jubal Early. She tells him that he will help her find Serenity again. He reminds that he tried two times and failed. However, the female Operative reveals that her ship holds twelve other supersoldiers to assist him. As she heads up to the bridge, she mentally promises to recapture River as she takes off her wig, revealing that she's a supersoldier too.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

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