During my recent trip to New York City, I happily stumbled upon Midtown Comics while my friends and I were shopping in Manhattan. Knowing that this would be the perfect place to pick up a souvenir for my boyfriend, I browsed through the rows upon rows of comics looking for something awesome to get him. Having no idea where to even begin, I eventually decided to ask someone who worked there for some recommendations. He immediately led me to a display, and thrust a copy of Saga into my hands while singing its praises. When I glanced down at the author I stifled a gasp of surprise. Brian K. Vaughan? At that very moment I was already reading and loving his other series Y: The Last Man! It was like fate! Without even glancing at the synopsis or flipping through the pages I made my way to the cash register knowing that this purchase was meant to be.
It wasn’t until I got back to the hotel that I started to skim through the artwork. And that was when I began to get a little bit worried. The art, done by Fiona Staples, was nothing like the style I had come to love in Y: The Last Man. On top of that there were some pretty weird looking characters, including these creepy long legged prostitutes and this half-naked spider woman villain (although from reading Y:The Last Man I’ve come to expect nudity in Vaughan’s works). What in the world had I gotten myself into?
A few weeks later at my boyfriend’s house, we decided to enjoy the sunshine and sit outside and read. Not having a book with me, I asked if I could borrow the copy of Saga that I had given him to see what it was actually like. The first few pages took a little bit to get use to, but once the story got started I was hooked. There was just no way that I was putting this graphic novel down until I had read the whole thing! Crazy illustrations aside, the story of Saga had me absolutely captivated! An epic space opera/fantasy, the best way to describe Saga is Romeo and Juliet meets Star Wars and Game of Thrones in space. The story follows Alana and Marko, lovers from two different planets that have been at war with each other for decades. They met when Alana was assigned to guard Marko, who had been taken as a prisoner of war. The story opens with Alana giving birth to their daughter, Hazel. Soon afterwards they are cornered by a team of soldiers that have been sent to capture them. Barely escaping, the rest of Volume One depicts Alana and Marko’s attempt to leave the planet and elude the mercenaries that are chasing them down.
I immediately fell in love with both Alana and Marko. Alana is tough, fierce, and has the mouth of a sailor. While Marko is equally fierce, he has a softer, more humorous side that adds a nice balance to Alana’s character. The sweetest part of all is watching the love that these two parents have for their newborn daughter, and their determination to make sure that she is kept safe from the war that is raging around them. Unfortunately, you don’t learn too much about the backgrounds of either Alana or Marko in Volume 1, but from what I’ve read online Volume 2 will start to shed some more light on their pasts.
The only other thing that I can say is that I am sorry Brian K. Vaughan for ever doubting you! Saga is absolutely genius! Even the illustrations grew on me by the end! So, sci-fi, fantasy, and graphic novel lovers, make sure to get your hands on a copy of Saga! It’s absolutely fantastic! You can thank me later. I definitely plan on buying the next volume when it comes out in July for myself (my boyfriend can borrow it from me if he’s nice). Check out this funny video review of Saga below that gives you a better idea of what the story is actually about (along with more images from the comic!).