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Saga, Vol. 1 Paperback – October 10, 2012
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*Starred Review* Vaughan, writer of the hugely successful Y: The Last Man, isn’t one to think small. In this opener to his ambitious new series, bits of sf space opera and classic fantasy mesh in setting a sprawling stage for an intensely personal story of two lovers, cleverly narrated by their newborn daughter. Though recently soldiers from opposite sides of a massive intergalactic war, moth-winged Alana and ram-horned Marko simply want peace and anonymity to raise their daughter (an abomination to the powers that be) away from conflict and hatred. Vaughan’s whip-snap dialogue is as smart, cutting, and well timed as ever, and his characters are both familiar enough to acclimate easily to and deep enough to stay interested in as their relationships bend, break, and mend. While Vaughan will be the star power that attracts readers, do-it-all artist Staples is going to be the one who really wows them. Her character designs dish out some of the best aliens around, the immersive world-crafting is lushly detailed and deeply thought through, and the spacious layouts keep the focus squarely on the personal element, despite the chaotic cosmos they inhabit. Add another winner to Vaughan’s stable of consistently epic, fresh, and endearing stories. --Ian Chipman
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On the other hand, let me warn Amazon customers. Amazon ships this book in its infamous cardboard folders with no protection whatsoever. And it’s quite a thick book that barely fits in the aforementioned cardboard folder, so every hit the box takes during the trip to your house is going to be absorbed by the book.
Every single corner of the book’s cover and back cover, except for one, was dented and even coming apart. A real shame. I repeat, Amazon ships this book with no protection whatsoever, so be wary, especially if you do not reside in the US.
Brian K. Vaughan has created an adult comic (I feel like I have to clarify that it’s adult, because YA is my default expectation for this space) for fans of science fiction, star-crossed love and action adventure. The first volume has a lot going on: birth, death, berserker rages, interspecies conflict, a sex planet, ghosts, crazy spaceships, and a life-changing romance novel (that bit made me laugh)(in a good way).
This comic does a lot of things well: multiple threads of story tied into the main plot line via an unusual omniscient narrator, exciting visuals, star-crossed love just fighting to survive, and humorous dialogue throughout. It is also a set-up for a wide-ranging epic, but the volume has enough skirmishes, close calls, and surprises to make it satisfying and interesting as a standalone.
That said, I was not impressed by main heroine Alana’s dialogue. Whether it fits the character in the context of the series or not, I can’t say. I was just disappointed to read pages of the jealous/nagging wife cliché when there were other more interesting (and life-threatening!) things going on at the same time. So that bit into my enjoyment – and I am going to skip reading further volumes. The one plot thread that really got its hooks into me was that of the Robot Prince – I thought the robot royal characters seemed really innovative and suited to the comics medium.
If you’ve been thinking you’d like to “try” comics, like science fiction, and don’t care for superheroes, Saga is a good place to start. Just be aware that this first volume pulls no punches – it’s R-rated. And if you’re more of a fantasy fan, I’d suggest starting out with Bill Willingham’s Fables.
Recommended for: comics newbies and veterans alike – basically anyone interested in a complex space adventure with enough action to keep the story moving and enough depth to hook most readers for the long haul.
Safe to say I was completely and utterly wrong, and I'm so glad I was. This series is amazing!! Everything they say about it is true! Hands down the best 18 issues of a comic book I've read in a long time. You will find yourself instantly captured by the characters and their struggles. The world is crazy but somehow not so crazy that it doesn't make sense, the art is immaculate and you never feel like the creators have wasted any panel in telling their story.
Often comic books don't have their characters change or develop but every issue of Saga something of note happens, and that is extremely refreshing. I feel I've gotten more story in these 18 issues than I have in hundreds of issues of superhero comics.
1) are bored of superhero stories
2) love space fantasy like Star Wars
3) are looking for high quality art and storytelling
then this book is for you!
Do yourself a favor and read it. Trust me.
My only gripe with his volume was Sextillion. Right… I think this story could have honestly done without this part. I felt it was a little cheesy and didn’t see the point or how it could really benefit the story. Maybe that will be answered in some other way in future volumes, but it think it was a bit much. Definitely had some mature content if you haven’t picked up on that yet!
Otherwise, I can’t believe I waited so long to pick this up. After hearing for so long how much everyone raved about this it was time I finally got into and now I’m sorry I waited so long! I loved the story line (minus a few pieces here and there), the characters, the mood, and the art is really pretty too. The story is such an interesting premise. It’s strong and relatable. The characters are also strong. They’re a bit stubborn at times, but also fierce and loyal and you can’t help but love them and what they stand for. The art helped pull you in and created the feels and moods especially with the colors used. I’m obsessing over this at the moment. The instant I finished I knew I had to continue. Amazon Prime two day deliver won’t be soon enough!