Issues #1-6 of Saga
By Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Artist)
Available now from Image Comics
I first heard about SAGA through my dad, of all people. I think the only graphic novels my dad has ever read are ones that I gave to him. But he saved an article about the Wall Street Journal about the cover of the first issue for me, just because it sounded like my kind of thing. Yep, my dad knows me.
Because SAGA is definitely my kind of thing.
Honestly, I'm hoping it's almost everyone's kind of thing, because it's fantastic. The basic set up is very Romeo and Juliet-ish: Marko and Alana are fighting on opposite sides of a war when they fall in love and run away to start a family. It's a war that spans several wars, having been outsourced from the homeworld of the original groups who had a problem with each other. But now several freelancers and a prince have been set on the task of killing Marko and Alana. And, fortunately, the actual story has little in common with Romeo and Juliet. Marko may do some stupidly idealistic stuff, but both of them are willing to make hard choices to survive. And they are very aware that they're parents and must protect their daughter. Marko and Alana do not lack responsibility.
SAGA is narrated by their baby daughter Hazel once she's all grown up, which at least let's the reader know she survives the craziness of their lives. The device is done very well, and I like that it gives Hazel a voice since she obviously can't talk as a baby. Her narration promises lots of bad things to come, and I can't wait to read about them.
Fiona Staples art is colorful, clean, and dynamic. The backgrounds are detailed by the characters still pop in the foreground. Some of the designs are rather grotesque, and Staples' art really sells the images. And for all the monsters on display, the creepiest-looking character (in my opinion) looks totally normal if you just look at her young, smiling face.
This is just the first volume of a comic that will hopefully live up to it's name in length when it's done. But I have high hopes for SAGA, because the first volume is near perfect. It's a family drama, a war novel, a romance, an action-adventure story, and probably more. It's got layers, but above all else SAGA is extremely entertaining.
Thanks for putting this on my radar, Dad.