on 17 October 2012
This graphic novel collects the first 6 issues of Image's new comic "Saga". It's worth pointing out right away that the first issue is available to read for free on the "Comixology" website (give it a Google). By having a read of this you can immediately see if you're feeling either disgusted or intrigued by the "Saga" Universe.
I say "disgusted or intrigued" because those are the 2 reactions that I get from people after the first issue. This is a mature comic so there is a sex scene, and it starts off with a grizzly birth scene that can be a huge turn off for some people. At least you can read the first issue for free online and see if it's something you'd like to invest in :)
There is a lot of talent behind this comic. Vaughan has had a fantastic career and has written for a number of publishers(I know him best for his work on Vertigo's "Y: The Last Man")and also wrote for the TV series "Lost". Staples is undoubtedly one of the best upcoming female artists out there, who I know only from her work on IDW's "Mystery Society". She has a very definitive broad-stroke style that I personally find to be really fluid and clear.
The Universe "Saga" takes place in is exceptionally dark and twisted. The art style does a lot to turn what could be a dark/gritty setting into something a bit brighter, when this is combined with Vaughan's dark sense of humour it really gives the impression of a comic that doesn't take itself too seriously. I personally find this to be a bit of a relief in a field where it is hard to find humorousness when surrounded with gritty adult comics focussing on making as "mean" a world as possible.
The character design is great as well. Being a completely original piece of Sci-Fi work expect to see characters of all shapes and sizes! Some have wings and horns, others have 8 legs, some don't even need legs... It's nice to see such a diverse world and after finishing this 6 issue volume you can't help but wonder where they're going to go next! With so many directions to go in the potential for this comic is limitless.
After the first 5 pages of this Volume I found myself to be instantly hooked. I worked through it in one sitting and then re-read it the following morning on my way to work. The characters have great personalities,the art style is striking and beautiful, the story is intriguing and fast paced and I cannot wait to see where we go next. Vaughan & Staples have created something completely vibrant and unique here, and if you like the first issue then I strongly recommend picking this volume up.
Among others, writer Vaughan was responsible for the lengthy and deservedly highly praised series Y:The Last Man and the shorter and deservedly less praised (though it wasn't bad by any means) Ex Machina. On the basis of this first volume, he's written his finest work so far, if he doesn't muck it up as he did with Ex Machina and, to a far lesser extent, with the inevitably anti-climatic end to Y.
I got to the end of this book, put it down, and said aloud, "Wow!"
The plot is simple: two mismatched lovers (he's a pacificist vegetarian magic-user, she isn't) from societies at war with each other are on the run (with their newly born baby) from both sides.
But that's the only thing that's simple. She comes from Landfall, a giant planet and he comes from Wreath, Landfall's very large moon. Rather than destroy each other's worlds, both societies take the battle out into the galaxy and hire other races to help fight their enemy. Most of the races seem to have some human-like resemblance but whether or not this is far future and we're seeing a diverse and vastly diverged humanity or just aliens isn't clear. Even the use of some familiar personal names (like Hazel) may be just a means to ease the reader into the story.
The background is potentially very complicated but Vaughan skillfully (greatly aided by the attractive clean-lined quality of Staples' art) and accessibly establishes the scenario and the characters, both lead and supporting. Our two heroes are very engaging and likeable and all the supporting characters are interesting (such as the hired assassin who will kill children for pay but hates paedophiles; he also has a psychic felinoid). There are no captions and all the narrative is conveyed by dialogue except for the occasional comments by a grown up version of the baby which are woven into the panels in which they occur rather than the conventional box and this works really well.
This isn't kids stuff. It if was a DVD it'd be rated 18 for explicit scenes of a sexual nature, frequent use of (bad) language, nudity, and graphic violence. It's also often funny and, just as often, touching.
The potential of this series is enormous and, from the title, we're in for a long run.
Side note for Science Fiction buffs: this is wide-screen Baroque SF at its best. Resist that come on if you can.
on 17 April 2013
Saga was flagged up to me as a novel I might find interesting based on my previous purchases. I read the comments posted here by other reviewers and decided that I had to try this out for myself.
This is a decision I have not regretted. The characters are beautifully drawn and you quickly grow to care for the main characters' well being. There are enough odd creatures to keep you interested if you are coming more from a Fantasy background.
The novel is rated Mature which is quite appropriate even though there is really only a couple of sequences where being a little older is advisable. Younger readers might not fully understand what is going on, which is just as well, but they should nevertheless not be exposed to the those sequences (I'm thinking of the first time Prince IV appears in the novel).
I can definitely recommend Saga to anyone who likes graphic novels on the Science Fiction and/or Fantasy theme. I for one is looking forward to the next instalment.
on 31 December 2012
I was totally blown away by this title! Its like Star Wars for grown ups, and the characters - my god! In which other comic can you find characters as awesome and terrifying as The Stalk? Or cool and brooding as The Will? Or tree's that turn into rocket ships? Or a robot with erectile dysfunction?
It was such a cool read. And as I sit here right now, there's only one thought in my head and that is the question of when I will get to read the next volume, because upon finishing I wanted more. I almost dreaded to see it finish. So enthralled was I, immersed in the breath-taking universe that Vaughan had created.
The story revolves around two character's, Alana and Marko two soldiers from an opposite side of a galactic war between the planet 'Landfall' and it's moon 'Wreath' . Contrary to their races hostility to one another - they fall in love. They conceive a baby daughter together called Hazel. But these are dangerous times, and bringing a fragile thing as this new life into the world does not go unnoticed. Soon Freelancer's (Bounty hunters/ assasins) and the Landfall military, lead by Robot Prince IV are on their trail.
Brian K Vaughan has created a stunning grown up science-fiction epic; his writing is very witty, and heartfelt aswell. You know you are witnessing something special when you start caring for the characters in the story, and worried about what happens to them. He is my favourite writer right now alongside Brandon Graham. I love his prior works such as Y The Last Man - it is one of the best comic series of recent memory. And Pride of Baghdad was a joy to read; stunning and heartbreaking in the same breadth. But with Saga he has started something very special indeed.
But the reason why Saga is such a revelation is due to Fiona Staples stunning artwork; it is absolutely superb. It is a joy to behold. Her style is very original, and her lettering is beautiful too - especially Hazel's account. Her cover art for each of the six issues in this volume are just gorgeous to look at and it is amazing to think she is responsible for everything, not only interior artwork but the covers and the lettering too. Holding this volume in my hand, I felt I was in possession of something very special indeed.
Aswell as Stapleton's artwork, another key reason why Saga is such a joy to read (as well as our protagonists journey), is all the weird and wonderful characters on show, chief among them being 'The Stalk'. She is both beautiful and terrifying at the same time. I almost had a heart attack when I turned the page and saw her standing there! But that was nothing compared to what was underneath that black dress. Another freelancer The Will was another excellent creation - he's like a brooding, bald Han Solo with a cat instead of Chewie - a cat which can tell if you're lying. Or the odd sex club hostesses we meet on Sextillion, resembling a giant head on a pair of legs! Or the TV headed robot's - and whats more, a 'Royal' robot with erectile dysfunction! These creations make Saga such a unique and fascinating read.
Image Comics are definitely on the ascendency right now - with Elephantmen, Prophet and now Saga - it has never been a better time to be a science fiction/ comic book fan than right now.
Until last year I had never read a graphic novel in my life, the only comics I had ever read in my life were the Beano and Garfield.
In 2015 I picked up my first couple of graphic novels, the first was the illustrated WOOL by Hugh Howey which was awesome and the second was the excellent Nimona by Noelle Stevenson which made me long for something else as colourful and fun to read.
Saga filled the bill.
As well as colourful and fun, I could add gruesome, bloody, violent, erotic, hot, sexy, scary and bizarre to list, oh and it looks beautiful, like s*** hot crazy beautiful.
Alana and Marko our leading characters are star crossed lovers, on the run and up the duff. If you are not keen on graphic birth scenes then avoid the first couple of pages as the novel kicks off with Alana giving birth to our narrator, it is not a quiet scene!
The book follows our young lovers both of them soldiers from opposing forces that have fallen in love against all that they know and believe, they are on the run and the child that they have brought in to the world should never have been.
This is only volume one of this epic series so I am not going to go deep in to what happens but many stories cross over Marko and Alana's such as the bounty hunter on their trail, The Will who has a wonderfully sarcastic feline companion Lying Cat plus the freakish looking Prince Robot IV who is also after the pair, and I better not forget the incredible arachnid lady Stalk who may make you look at spiders in a different light.
Whether you are new reader to graphic novels like me or a veteran, read Saga, it is a rip roaring crazy sci fi ride across the vast galaxy with a cast of beautifully illustrated characters that jump of the page at you and I hope you love it as much as I do.
on 13 May 2013
I bought this graphic novel after it being highly recommended by a friend. He had bought the 1st editions and was amazed by the illustrations. I looked at one of the chapter covers (a babies hand reaching out to touch an arachnid-esque claw) and was sufficiently impressed to purchase my own copy.
Without giving too much away, the story centres around Alana and Marko, two lovers from different planets whose people are at war with one another.
I must say that after devouring this book in an hour, I was left craving more and instantly pre ordered book 2. Vaughn's writing style is fluid, exciting and engaging. In my opinion a lot better than Y:The last man and Ex-Machina. The characters are multi dimensional and weave in and out of the plot, in a similar way to a Tarantino flick. The illustrations... absolutely breathtaking. Staples is truly a talent. Her compositional sense and visual perspective is fresh and original and compliments the script in every way. This graphic novel is a complete work of art and the most enjoyable sci-fi read I've had since 'Transmetropolitan'.
Saga is the latest adventure from Brian K Vaughan (Y: The Last Man). This tells the tale of two lovers of different and warring species in a universe at war attempting to escape and find peace for themselves and their newborn child as authorities and family from both sides attempt to find them and bring them down.
The writing is excellent, interesting likeable characters in an exciting and imaginative world. The story is fast paced and full of surprises and the art is consistently excellent.
There is of course a serious side here with a backdrop of mixed race parenting and ingrained ignorance and hate but it never dominates to the point of stopping it being a hugely enjoyable tale. There's plenty to think about but fun is always the focus.
If you're a big fan of Sci Fi epic adventures in the vein of Star Wars and the like then I'd recommend this, it is a lot of fun.
on 19 February 2014
Marko (vegetarian, recent pacifist and practitioner of generally effective magic) and Alana (winged, gun lover, enjoys the taste of her own breast milk) used to be on opposite sides of an interstellar conflict but now they’re in love and on the run from their former factions. They’re also new parents trying to keep their baby alive on a hostile planet in the most adverse of circumstances. Saga is an excellent sci-fi comic written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Fiona Staples and this volume collects the first six issues in the on-going series. The universe of Saga is dark, twisted and utterly compelling – this is one of the best comics that I’ve read in ages.
on 14 February 2016
This is one of those graphic novels that I have been hearing everywhere and the hype for this book is off the scale and was a must read. I have started reading more comics/graphic novels since last year and I am really getting into them.
This story follows Alana and Marko and they are on the run. They shouldn’t be together as they are both soldiers from different sides of the galactic war and due to politics and rules this is forbidden. What makes it even more taboo is that they have had a baby together, Hazel.
Baron Robot XXIII has been commissioned to kill Alana and Marko but return the child as it is inter-species. However there have also been freelancers employed to do the same thing. We meet The Stalk that is a topless spider woman thingy and then there is The Will, he seems to be a relatively normal guy (and I can’t believe I am saying this but kinda hot). Will has a sidekick that is a cat but not any old fluffy adorable pet, this one is a lying cat that can detect when someone is not telling the truth.
This story is narrated by Hazel in flashbacks, about how she was born and what happened to her parents, this novel is about love and war in space and a very unique take on it. The dialogue is hilarious, the characters are so original and the plot was also pretty good with twists and turns.
The characters and artwork were on point! The artwork was beautiful with a whole range of colours used, the characters are three-dimensional and complex. The baron XXIII was great he had a monitor/TV for a head who was having trouble performing in the bedroom department, then as mentioned above there was The Stalk and then there were these massive heads on legs.
The best part (obviously) was the interactions between Alana and Marko, this couple were so sweet and at the same time hilarious. Alana is portrayed as a head-strong women but with the odd tendency for jealousy. Together they make a great team knowing each others limits and the love for one another is palpable
This book is not going to be for everyone as there is nudity, swearing and sex, so not for the younger audience.
I will definitely be reading the next volume for sure.
Overall I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars
on 2 September 2014
This was amazing. Instantly this graphic novel captured my attention and held it for the entire 40 mins I was reading this. It's a great storyline which is set in a world where people from Planet Landfall and people from Satellite Wreath are always at war with one another, and it tells the story of a couple (kind of like Romeo and Juliet) where each person is from the opposite side. They are lovers and you learn more about them as the story goes on, and you also get to see what is happening to them now that their affair has been uncovered.
It's told from the POV of their young baby (who is born right at the start) and it's essentially the story of her life. There are all sorts of different planets, places, storylines and races, but it's a very easy story to follow and instantly be hooked into. I have to say it's certainly one of the best and most interesting ideas for a Graphic Novel that I've read and I whizzed through it really enjoying it.
I loved seeing all the different planets and races as I think that they were all individual and they all made an impression on me. I enjoyed the winged race of Alana as they were super pretty (and pretty deadly) and their design was probably my favourite. The robot race was a cool one which felt very desensitised and that seemed to fit with their personality. I also liked Marko's horned race as they seemed to be pretty bad-ass.
The characters I really liked because although this is not a huge book you really get to see each individual and learn a bit about them and how they react to certain situations. Alana was a very determined and ruthless character who was certainly my favourite for her sheer 'bad-assery'! I think that Marko was a bit of a weak character most of the time as he doesn't often assert himself against her, but as soon as she or the baby were threatened he turned into a wicked enemy and I loved the fight scenes with him!
On the whole this was SO much better than I had expected it to be. The artwork was great and I loved the colours too, I think that this is more driven by the story than the art, but it's great that the art really enhances the story. I am certainly going to buy the next volume asap and start that soon, and I really look forward to it as this was such a great, fast and fun read :) Highly recommended!!