Saga by Brian K Vaughan

You ever hear of Brian K. Vaughn? No? Well if you haven't, then I think it's time you decide to give his name a try. Vaughn has done the great work of Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina, and Runaways to great acclaim. But after taking some time off, Vaughn is back in the comic-ring with Saga, a sci-fi/fantasy story inspired by Star Wars and the birth of his second daughter. And what do you get? One of the most unique, epic, fresh, and odd comics on the market. I will try to keep it spoiler free.

SAGA VOL.1 collects the first issues, #1-6. A never-ending galactic war that has been happening between a planet by the name of Landfall, a planet filled with technologically advanced beings who have wings to fly, and its orbiting moon Wreath, a moon full of goat-like humans who are great warriors and wield magic. Alana (a being from Landfall), and Marko (a being from Wreath) do the unthinkable: they conceived a child named Hazel on a distant planet named Cleave. Both Alana and Marko forfeit their positions from their planets and decide to try to get away from the war effort. But both home planets find out about this and want them eliminated. Landfall has an agent from the Robot Kingdom, named Prince Robot IV (a humanoid-being with the head of a television set) go after them, while Wreath hires paid killers The Will (a morally complex being) and The Stalk to do the same. What will happen next?
Brian K. Vaughn wanted this book to match the title itself, in that it encompasses all aspects of a long and arduous space epic. It has drama, romance, humor, suspense, action, violence, charm, zany science fiction, abstract fantasy, the supernatural, politics, morals, sexuality, and just plain weird stuff. This book has it all. And it's only 6 issues in.
The actual story plot might not be the most original, but the narrative on character building is phenomenal. The story jumps between Alana and Marko's journey to escape Cleave, while there is the investigation of Prince Robot IV into the lovers, and The Will's complex exposition from hunting Alana and Marko or going to an orgy-filled planet. This would fumble for most writers doing this much at one time, but Vaughn holds it together, and does it a pace at which the book moves just right. Not too fast, not too slow. The story and character building work so well together, it succeeds at world building and creating an intrigue. And Vaughn creates enough status quo changing twist that you can't quite put down the book.
But the main theme and narrative here is parenthood, or more precisely: love. The main narrative is told from Hazel (most of the time), which describes her parents Alana and Marko with such written quirkiness and humanity; you can't help but feel for their plight and feel like their one of us. Even in a distant galaxy, these characters feel human, and Vaughn hits the nail just right.

But Vaughn can't take all of the credit. Fiona Staples draws thick character lines, while having water color-type backgrounds to bring attention, as well as make a odd, alien world come to life. But she stays on the emotional expressions the most, keeping in-line the characters mannerisms to the theme of parenthood. But Staples also does a commendable job at the more risqué content here to make it applicable to art form, and not gratuitous material (though I think there will be some who think otherwise). But overall, Staples art fits perfectly for this book.
Now if there are possible problems, they lie in the content. This is for mature readers only. This book has some strong language (you'll hear the occasional F-bomb), male and female nudity, sexual innuendos, and like mentioned before: Some weird imagery and concepts I can't list without giving things away. If you're not prepared for this, this might not be for you. But considering the material, as well as Vaughn purpose of using all aspects possible for this space epic, I think it works very well.

SAGA VOL.1 truly is the next big thing in comics that truly looks like it will live up to its title. Vaughn has said he wants to make this series be big and long, to really personify an epic space opera/drama worthy of the word, "saga". And if this keeps ups, we can expect another great chapter under Vaughn's career. And only $10, you have nothing to lose in trying out this book. Nothing. So get on it while it's still just starting, because it's going to be a long journey.

1 comment:

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