Secondly, I want to state that I was rather disappointed with this series as a whole. You may recall that early on I voiced some concerns because it seemed like they were rehashing old ideas that had been utilized in the series rather than introducing new ideas and expanding the 'Verse. Now I can understand a desire to establish a sense of continuity with the series and movie, reusing old ideas, old characters, and old situations, but honestly I don't think it was necessary to make a good comic. You already have the continuity of the characters and the ship from the original series and as readers we want to know what happens to Serenity and her crew. And I think I'd like to see new and exciting adventures for her as well. And going in new directions is probably the real strength for the comics. For example, probably my favorite Serenity comic is Float Out, a one-shot story that shared stories of Wash's past as told by three different people who knew him. Float Out preserved continuity with the character of Wash, but introduced new aspects of his past. Granted, we already knew that Wash was a great pilot and saw that quite a few times, but we get to see how Wash forged his reputation while still being that funny, goofy, pretty nice guy that we know and love. Of course, this isn't guaranteed to work. I don't much care for The Shepherd's Tale (BECAUSE IT MAKES NO SENSE!) But there was at least an attempt to build the 'Verse up.
Which actually leads to my other frustration is that things don't change terribly much over the course of the comics. Yes, things happen, but they don't really build the 'Verse in a meaningful way. Bea joins Serenity's crew, but Bea received so little development of a character in this miniseries that she could be replaced by a cardboard cutout with no real changes. Mal decides he's going to start fighting back against the Alliance rather than running away. A decision which he had already made (quite dramatically I might add) in the film and apparently forgot in the intervening nine months. Finally we get a new villain who's determined to capture River. This does set up a new conflict for what I'm assuming will be the inevitable next set of comics, but aside from the most basic details of the new villain we don't really know much about them. We don't even get a name. And I get the feeling like we're still stuck story-wise and we can't break out of the larger arc of “River on the run from the Alliance”. Which the movie was supposed to tie up in a nice neat bow. It all feels very frustrating.
As a die-hard Browncoat I'll probably find myself sucked into the next series of comics that come out, but my expectations are going to stay fairly low. It just seems like the comic creators can't really strike out in a new direction with the series, even in its new format. Possibly the new villain will make things a little more interesting, but I'm not optimistic. But here's hoping. Keep 'em flying.