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Ritten RUview: Saga, Volume One

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LOLtron

Rain Partier

Postby LOLtron » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:38 pm

Ritten RUview: Saga, Volume One

What the Hell took me so long?




Saga Volume One, collection issues 1-6
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Fiona Staples
Publisher: Image Comics
Created By: Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

Its been a while since I wrote a review, and I know that tradition dictates that we wait until the end of a review to give a recommendation or grade, but I don’t have the ability to contain my excitement to talk about this book.  Saga is flipping phenomenal!

I could not put this book down, going so far as to push the season premier of Walking Dead back 30 so I could finish the book.

Saga is a mixture of science and magic set in the middle of an endless civil war that has poisoned an entire galaxy.  At the center of the story is a married couple from opposing sides of the war, and the narrator, their infant that should not be able to exist, Hazel.   Both sides of the war have sent agents to kill the parents and capture (one side) or kill (the other) the baby.  The first six issues deal with the family’s attempt to escape the planet through armies, bounty hunters, and a forest of “horrors.”

In this day and age where most six-issue story arcs feel as if they could have been told in 2 and a half pages, Saga is a breath of fresh air along with Brandon Graham’s Prophet, where there is no wasted space.  Every panel moves the story forward, every image has a purpose, and the reader never feels as if the comic is talking down to them by repeating itself over and over.

I’ll admit to not being a fan of some of the character designs; the rulers of the Robot Kingdom are humanoids with TVs for heads.  This is an image that I have always found somewhat creepy for some reason, and “walking in” on a sex scene between two of them was a bit off-putting, but not enough to diminish my enjoyment of the book.

We all know Brian K. Vaughn’s work, from the seminal Y: The Last Man and Ex Machina to his less well received run on Ultimate X-Men, and everything in between, and what Saga proved to me is that, while Vaughn can write enjoyable work-for-hire stories, he is one of those writers who excels at characters he created (Runaways) and/or creator owned work.

Fiona Staples, who I am not all that familiar with, is a perfect partner to Vaughn’s script.  She captures the combination of science and fantasy, love and hate, peace and war, hope and despair with apparent ease.  I look forward to her continued presence in the medium.

Saga, buy it.



Written or Contributed by GHERU


READ THIS ARTICLE ON THE FRONT PAGE, HUMANS!
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mrorangesoda

FROGMAN

Postby mrorangesoda » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:58 pm

Runaways was less well received? I've been spending too much time on tumblr...
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GHERU

Rain Partier

Postby GHERU » Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:36 pm

mrorangesoda wrote:Runaways was less well received? I've been spending too much time on tumblr...

shit, I was thinking about something else
fixing now
thank you
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S.F. Jude Terror

OMCTO

Postby S.F. Jude Terror » Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:13 am

I really like the art on this book. The story was slow to grab me, but BKV's stuff seems to read better in one sitting.
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habitual

Silly French Man

Postby habitual » Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:26 am

This book is fantastic.

Hab
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covalesky

Expert Post Whore

Postby covalesky » Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:47 am

Sounds cool. In not a big bkv fan but this Looks Good enough to buy.
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Zero

Zombie Guard

Postby Zero » Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:28 am

I'm a huge BKV fan and this didn't disappoint at all. Can't wait for the next volume.
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mrorangesoda

FROGMAN

Postby mrorangesoda » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:34 am

GHERU wrote:shit, I was thinking about something else
fixing now
thank you


:lol: It's cool.
Maybe it's just overpowered by all the Y love, but I feel like Ex Machina isn't well loved. I know a lot of people (myself included) who dropped out in the middle and never finished the thing.

Good review btw. I'm looking forward to checking this out.
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GHERU

Rain Partier

Postby GHERU » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:36 am

covalesky wrote:Sounds cool. In not a big bkv fan but this Looks Good enough to buy.

cover price of $9.99 is enough to try something out, IMO
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Chris

Rain Partier

Postby Chris » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:39 am

This is the best book in comics.
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covalesky

Expert Post Whore

Postby covalesky » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:27 am

GHERU wrote:cover price of $9.99 is enough to try something out, IMO


Gonna put it in my buy list :-)
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oogy

Zombie Guard

Postby oogy » Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:50 am

I love this book so much that I ordered a trade to pass around to friends.
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BarrySagittarius

Twenty-Something

Postby BarrySagittarius » Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:54 pm

Sounds great
As always, trust in ru
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Arion

Twenty-Something

Postby Arion » Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:49 pm

Since, we're sharing, here's my review of the first issue:

The first issue of Y the Last Man was a masterpiece. Brian K. Vaughan proved back then that he was a very talented writer capable of creating an entire narrative universe. Then he captivated us again with the first issue of Runaways. And now, in March 2012, he shares with us Saga, a new creator-owned series; although it may not be as groundbreaking as the beginning of Y the Last Man or Runaways, this is still quite a solid first issue.

The protagonists are Marko and Alana; she comes from a planet named Landfall, and he comes from that planet’s one and only satellite, Wreath. Landfall and Wreath are at war “but because the destruction of one would only send the other spinning out of orbit, both sides began to outsource combat to foreign lands”. Throughout the galaxy, every alien species has to pick a side, planet or moon, but in the end, the horrors of war are the one true constant.

As Doris Sommer explained once, heterosexual romances can be allegories for cultural consolidation. Marko and Alana have a daughter, Hazel, and she’s the bringer of hope in a galaxy overrun with interstellar conflicts. According to Sommer, star-crossed lovers represent particular religions and races: Marko has strong ties with magic, and horns in his head; Alana relies more on technology, and has wings in her back; their daughter is the amalgamation of this two different cultures and physiologies.

In a solar system defined by division and dispute, Brian K. Vaughan resolves religious, racial and social differences with this “natural” love. In Sommer’s words: the “passion for conjugal and sexual union spills over to a sentimental readership”, a readership that would ideally demand for such a union to occur. By allegorizing issues of the protagonists’ homeworlds into an erotic romance, the young couple effectively dissolves the boundaries between public and private spheres. “The pitch of sentiment rises along with the cry of commitment”, Sommer ascertains, “so that the din makes it ever more difficult to distinguish between our erotic and political fantasies for an ideal ending”. Furthermore, the obstacles that the lovers encounter reinforce their desire to reproduce and reaffirm their “love for the possible nation in which their relationship could be consummated”. Therefore it is fitting that the obstacles presented by Baron Robot of the Coalition Forces -and other enemies- are of a public nature.

Fiona Staples is Saga’s artist, and her cover for the first issue is delicate and quite exquisite. The anatomy of the characters has been carefully rendered, and their posture conveys a strong personality and a well-defined attitude. A few months ago, when the cover was first announced, I remember some people complained about it because it showed Alana breastfeeding her baby; well, even if I hadn’t known who the author was, I would have probably preordered this issue just because of that. Besides, I really liked what I was seeing. Nevertheless, the interior art is a bit rushed, unpolished even; I’m absolutely convinced that this isn’t an example of artistic negligence but rather an attempt for experimentation that doesn’t quite click for me. Here’s hoping that, in future issues, Fiona Staples will pleasantly surprise me as she has done many a time in the past.

http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/04/ ... aples.html

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