Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Fiona Staples
Type: Graphic Novels #1-4
Publisher: Image Comics
Saga is an epic space opera/fantasy comic book series created by writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Fiona Staples, published monthly by Image Comics. The series is heavily influenced by Star Wars, and based on ideas Vaughan conceived both as a child and as a parent. It depicts two lovers from long-warring extraterrestrial races, Alana and Marko, fleeing authorities from both sides of a galactic war as they struggle to care for their newborn daughter, Hazel, who occasionally narrates the series. (Source)
I started reading this comic series by the request of the owner of the comic shop I frequent. I’ve been reading it since the first trade paperback was released and I’m just now getting around to reviewing it.
After reading the first volume, I sat back, stared at the cover and whispered, “Holy Crap.” Before Saga, I’d been in a rut when it came to comics. Everything seemed to flow along the same storyline especially those from DC and Marvel. I’ve all but given up on reading superhero comics.
Saga is different. As the synopsis stated, it is an epic space opera focused around two soldiers from warring worlds. They produce a child who they spend their lives trying to keep safe while the world around them is trying to tear them apart. The underlying story is familiar to us all. Think Romeo & Juliet. But the execution is what captivated me. The art style draws you in. All of the characters have depth. They go through obstacles. They have vices. None of them are necessarily evil. Everyone is in a grey area. Some more darker than others.
The worlds that we get to visit are all different. Some have certain focuses like Sextillion (hehe). Others are pretty barren lands like Quietus. The two worlds at war are a planet and its moon (Landfall and Wreath). Landfall is more tech savvy while Wreath uses magic. Upon realizing that if they destroyed one world the other would also be destroyed, they decide to extend their war across the galaxy. Other planets took sides or tried their hardest to stay neutral.
The thing that I love most about this story is Alana and Gwendolyn. They look like me. They are two prominent characters and they look like me! Alana is a dark-skinned, badass soldier, who is more than a love interest. I love her fiery, independent nature. She will do anything for the family she has created even if that means killing. Gwendolyn is the possessive, dark-skinned ex of Marko. She has a gorgeous, full afro and she can kick some butt.
This story tackles both racial inequalities and gender stereotypes. While Alana isn’t against killing, Marko is a pacifist who is a brilliant swordsman. He ends up being the one to raise Hazel during the day-to-day while Alana is the breadwinner. How can you not get behind a story as bold as this?
I don’t want to give too much away, but some more interest characters are The Will, Prince Robot IV, and Izabel. They all have great back stories and add so much to the storyline.
Read it. Seriously. Read it.
*Image Comics has been putting out some amazing work recently. The next couple reviews will strictly focus around that publishing company.*