Comic Review: Saga Volume 1 / Written by: Brian K Vaughan / Art by: Fiona Staples / Publisher: Image Comics / Release: October 23rd
Brian K Vaughan has a talent for telling stories that are both absurd and very human at the same time. Previous works include the excellent Runaways (a tale of escaped youth in the Marvel Universe) and Y, The Last Man (pretty much what it sounds like, but more so). His latest graphic novel is Saga, which, at its heart, is the timeless story of star-crossed lovers. Though in this case, they actually are star-crossed; one is from the moon, the other the main planet. The two lovers belong to races that have been endlessly warring. The differences between the two species are quite strong; the man is horned and magic using, the lady is winged and has access to advanced technology.
The tale is told partially by their new-born daughter, who we assume is telling the tale at some point in the future. Saga is the sort of fantasy weirdness that you can do with the infinite budget of comic books; artist Fiona Staples brings a strong visual design to the book, and it looks distinct and unique. There are some great images here as well; men with televisions for heads, spider-shaped assassins, forests that grow rocketships and much more. Vaughan throws the strangest of things at the reader whilst at the same time keeping you grounded in a world he has created, no matter how incredible things get, it’s still a story about two people trying to raise a child whilst on the run.
It isn’t for everyone, of course. Some of the odder moments seem forced, and some of the character developments seem tacked on rather than fully realised. If you loved Tank Girl: Odyssey or Steve Gerber’s Nevada, then you’ll find a lot to love here; this is essentially Romeo and Juliet meets Raising Arizona (but in space), and Vaughan squeezes out every drop of strangeness he can to create something that is worth your time.