The hype is true. The hype is real.
Before diving into this graphic novel, my expectations were really very high. I always see this on almost all of the “Top Graphic Novels of all Time” list that I have read or watched. A lot of people are so over the moon with this series that when I started reading it, I can’t help but feel giddy and excited. And yes, people of the world, this graphic novel is so epic! Aside from knowing only some of the story’s basic premise, I basically went into it blindly and that helped me appreciate this gem.
Saga follows the inter-species love story of winged-woman Alana from the technologically advanced planet of Wreath and horned-man Marko from the land magic wielding people, the planet of Landfall, two soldiers from the opposite sides. To avoid destroying each others planets, the two planets decided to stage their fights in other planets, then other planets began taking sides until the war became intergalactic. Alana was Marko’s prison guard when the latter was caught. The two fell in love with each other, was blessed with a baby and decided to give up everything and run off together to start a family. As their love is forbidden, armies where they once served and bounty hunters who are set to kill began looking for them. Just imagine Romeo and Juliet set in outer space and on the run with a baby. Just imagine it more intense. The story then follows the two are they try to escape. The first book covers issues No. 1 to No. 6.
I like how fast-paced the book is and how it did not dwell much with setting the background of the world. You know, the boring stuff where the characters describe their world, it’s terrain, people and history. I like how it immediately picked up the paced with bits and pieces being introduced at some random parts, mostly through conversations, in the story.
The book’s point of view is told through the newborn child, Hazel, which I find very unique. The book made it appear that the baby is telling the story from the future. That helped the story’s momentum to progressively build up. The story also moves from the present to the past which was done in a very flawless way and not at all confusing.
Vaughan and Staples’ partnership worked very well. The writing and the artwork complement each other. They both came natural and well-balanced. The book is equipped with witty writing and engaging dialogues as it moves to being so hilarious at some point to dramatic and intense the next. I like how the every ending of each chapter ends so abruptly. It needed a strong force to stop myself from continuing as I want the sensation to last. I like how the book keeps it’s momentum of being so compelling all throughout.
The artwork is really something to be praised as it’s done so simply but very detailed. It’s not made to be over the top but just enough to make the graphic novel so gripping. The book’s creative artwork provided a strong backbone to story. The artwork moves from tender love scenes to intense fighting scenes. I like how the emotions of the characters emanates from the drawing. The book also has this unique character concepts that I find so amusing. The book became a mixture of all sorts of strange creatures of different species and forms. Imagine a man with a TV screen for a head? Or girl with no torso, just big heads then legs? Or a ghost girl who has nothing but hanging intestines? What could be more weirder than that.
The characters were also made so unique from each other. Their personalities were made so realistic. I love how the relationship between Alana and Marko is so natural. They always fight but without a doubt, the readers can feel that they love each other.
It’s title “Saga” really fits this book as it has touches of everything, from horror, drama, comedy, suspense to romance. The book basically revolves around the value of love. Overall, it’s clean and well-executed.
If I haven’t convinced yo yet to get this graphic novel, I don’t know what will. 😀
P.S. Just a little bit of warning, the book contains some sex scenes and nudity that might not be comfortable to others.
5 stars out of 5.
Author: by Brian K. Vaughan (Writer), Fiona Staples (Artist)
Part of a Series: Yes (Volume #1)
Release Year: October 2012
Publisher: Image Comics
No. of Pages: 160 pages
About the Author
Born in Cleveland in 1976, Brian K. Vaughan is the Eisner, Harvey, and Shuster Award-winning writer and co-creator of the critically acclaimed comics series Y: The Last Man, Runaways, and Ex Machina (picked as one of the ten best works of fiction of 2005 by Entertainment Weekly).
Recently named “Writer of the Year” by Wizard Magazine, and one of the “top ten comic writers of all time” by Comic Book Resources, Vaughan’s work has been featured and/or reviewed in countless mainstream media outlets, including The New York Times, MTV, National Public Radio, and feminist magazine Bust, which photographed him for their “Men We Love” issue (don’t ask).
As an undergraduate film student at New York University, Vaughan got his big break as part of Marvel’s Stanhattan Project, a workshop for aspiring comic book writers. In the ten years since, he has written nearly all of the major DC and Marvel characters, everyone from Batman to the X-Men.
In September of 2006, Vertigo released Vaughan’s first original graphic novel, Pride of Baghdad, lavishly illustrated by artist Niko Henrichon. Inspired by an unbelievable true story of four lions who escaped the Baghdad Zoo during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Pride is equal parts anthropomorphic adventure and Animal Farm-like parable about the ongoing conflict in Iraq, and was described as “the best novel so far” about the war by the UK’s Telegraph.
Along with his creator-owned work, Vaughan is currently writing The Escapists, a Dark Horse miniseries inspired by Michael Chabon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, as well as a new Doctor Strange limited series for Marvel with artist Marcos Martin.
This summer, the new WGA member/CAA client transplanted his poor playwright wife to Los Angeles, where Vaughan is currently working on the screenplay adaptations of Y and Ex Machina for New Line Cinema, as well as other new creations in film and television.
(About the Author and Photo courtesy of Goodreads)