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.