Saga: Volume 2–>
Title: Saga: Volume 1
Series Title: Saga
Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Fiona Staples
Date Added: September 28, 2016
Date Started: May 15, 2017
Date Finished: May 23, 2017
Reading Duration: 8 days
Genre: Graphic Novel/Comic, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Paranormal Romance, Space Opera
Recommended by: Cupcakes and Machetes
When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.
From bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan, Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults.
I never read comic books growing up. Not that I had anything against them. I make no judgments about the media you consume. All narratives are worthy of discourse regardless how they’re presented. Comics and graphic novels just never passed into my zone of consumption until a college postmodern class where I was more than happy to read Watchmen. Though even without that experience, I can’t say they weren’t part of my sphere of influence, though I might not have known at the time.
I was obsessed with MTV’s The Maxx and Aeon Flux, the former, which began as a comic/graphic novel and the latter, which has one in the form of The Herodotus Files (currently on my TBR list), and this fails to even mention the plethora of movies that are based on comic books e.g. anything involving superheros like Superman, Batman, the Avengers (Loki!), etc. nor are comics limited to just that as my favorite movie for years Constantine is based off the comic Hellblazer. There are more that I can’t speak on due to ignorance, but suffice it to say that comics and graphic novels are no mean genre deserving of ridicule, nor would someone like me who constantly defends video games from the same vitriol ever make such an ill-informed claim.
Saga came highly recommended not only by Cupcakes and Machetes, but by, well, everyone. Anyone I spoke to about this graphic novel did nothing but sing its praises so I was anxious to get my hot, little hands on it, and I was beyond blown away. There is no point that is boring or tedious, and though its broken into chapters, each ends on a cliff that forces you to drop down to the next ledge.
Vaughn’s narrative and Staples’s visuals weave a tale of moon crossed lovers who started out on opposites of a war no one even remembers why they’re fighting, and the glib description of the “horns and the wings” presents a glaring metaphor for the ancient battle between Heaven and Hell that’s hard to deny, but there are no simple good guys or bad guys in this war (there never are). There’s only a little family trying to survive a universe that wants them dead and enslaved. Assassins are on the hunt for Alana and Marko with instructions to take their baby Hazel into custody for god only knows what. It’s also blatantly obvious that “breeding with a moony,” which is what horned Marko’s people are called, is considered the utmost abomination, but former soldier Alana and prior prisoner Marko couldn’t care less about that.
Cue the free lance assassin’s The Will and The Stalk out to collect the bounty, and you’d think it would be an easy opposition of “defeat the bad guys,” but Saga makes you care about both sides for various reasons. Obviously, you don’t want Marko, Alana, and Hazel in harm’s way, but when The Will and his sidekick Lying Cat visit the sex planet and Will comes across a pimp peddling a six year old girl, there’s only one recourse for that.
I truly never knew what the fuck was going to happen next. What random monster or situation was going to pop up, whether or not a planet was going to hatch, Marko’s former fiancee was going to call down lightning, or a robot prince was going to order hits while sitting on the toilet, and it all makes sense in the context of the story. Let’s also talk about representation, because besides aliens, ghost babysitters, and spider lady assassins, there is a shit ton of that, as well.
Saga deserves every accolade it’s received and more. I cannot stress how phenomenal it is, and even if you’re not a comic book reader, this is something you’ll want to pick up. It is not for children or the younger crowd, despite what many assume that genre caters to, and I’m currently on the second volume as I’m writing this, will probably read the rest as rapidly as I can, and I’m already thinking of an Alana cosplay.