Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Illustrator: Fiona Staples
Lettering and Design: Fonografiks
Coordinator: Eric Stephenson
So this reviewing thing? Totally a learning curve. Sort of like parenting. Sort of. That being said, I promise this one won’t be a novel.
The first Volume of Saga ends with the Will up the creek without a paddle, Alana, and Marko being ninjaed by Marko’s parents with Prince Robot IV hot on their trail. And when I opened the second volume my only question was: where the hell are they going to go from here? I pride myself on being able to guess plot points. It’s like a game and the winner gets a gold star for the day content with the knowledge that I am a literary genius. So the fact that Saga keeps me guessing, says something about the caliber of writing going on here.
Saga Vol. 2 written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Fiona Staples starts exactly where Vol. 1 ends. It’s your typical awkward meeting with the In-Laws. In space. So maybe there’s a slight divergence from the norm. Barr and Klara, Marko’s father and mother respectively, are thrown. Well, Barr has mixed feelings. Klara is pissed off — in a literally racist sort of way. So not really a fan of her. It’s a new twist on an old trope. The parents disapproving your new partner and you have to jump to a nearby planet to retrieve your ghost nanny only have your mother go after you because she’s not done lecturing you. You know — normal people stuff.
However, while Alana is bonding with Barr, they’re still being hunted. And this time the Will has help. After solving his problem he has help with a Wreathian operative to gain his bounty. And what is amazing is about the Will is that there is no grey area with him; he knows exactly what he is and where the line is with him. And I’m glad we see more of that here. Of course, his new partner in crime is more trouble than she’s worth and it ends with them in desperate need of repairs. While Marko, Alana, and their ever-expanding family are dealt a tragic blow still drifting through space.
Again Vaughan pens a compelling story with so many glorious twists and unexpected turns. It amazes me that he keeps me so engaged with this story. I’m just in love with these characters: protagonists and antagonists alike. I want to know their stories. I want to know what happens next. And I’m sad when I pick up a volume of Saga and finish it in an hour. All of these are indicative of a compelling — well, saga (heh, see what I did there? Ok, I’ll see myself out).
Staples, she is just so talented. The artwork is so gripping. And I’ll find myself rereading Saga just to really appreciate her work. Her work is emotional and vibrant. The attention to detail is astounding. The fact that she is a relative unknown makes no sense to me. Because her artwork really sells Vaughan’s story in a way that I couldn’t imagine anyone else working on this series.
The characters in Saga are my favorite. Each of them brings something wholly unique to the story. No one is wasted. No one just shoehorned in to fill a trope. I feel like these could be real people. Sure they have horns or wings and they are caught up endless proxy war, but they are real enough that there is someone you can relate to. Even the disembodied narrator, Hazel is a fully fleshed out character. And you get a true sense of who this little baby will grow into. My only note is that Vaughan could have done better making Marko’s mother sympathetic. He does a wonderful job with everyone else but Klara is not someone I’ve connected with yet. But I’m hopeful with subsequent volumes I’ll find something that makes Klara someone I root for just like the rest. Except for IV, he’s still the actual worst.
I would have to stress once more that Saga is not a series for young children. This is for adult comic book enthusiasts. There’s adult content in this series that would not be suitable for anyone in grade school. And the adult theme explored with the pages are not going to be something a small child is going to be able to get. Though I stand by that a high schooler would probably love this series. And any grown fan of Space Operas or Epic Fantasies won’t be able to put this series down. 9 out of 10. Saga is just flat out my new favorite series.