28 January 2013

Review: Saga: Volume One by Brian K. Vaughan

Falling to peer pressure, I picked up a new graphic novel series this week: Saga: Volume One by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples.

I hesitated a bit because the story is slightly out of my usual genres. I love fantasy but I'm not big on science fiction, and I was afraid this would be too much the latter for me. Fortunately Saga was a perfect fit.

Somewhere in some galaxy, the beings (I'll call them people) from the planet Landfall and its moon, Wreath, went to war. Soon the conflict escalated, and there is now almost nowhere in the universe to escape the hostilities. You are one side or the other and there is no neutrality.

This is the story of Marco and Alana; their newborn daughter, Hazel; and their fight to stay together. Marco, from Wreath, is a conscientious objector and was a prisoner of war. One of his Landfall guards was Alana, who would rather read romances than be a soldier. When they discovered their love for each other, they plotted an escape, which begins with Alana giving birth in a vehicle-repair shop. Both sides are after them for political and moral reasons. Both sides want the couple dead, but they each want the baby alive.

Saga is full of fantastic human-like creatures. Some have wings, some have TVs for heads. Others are part insect or have wings or horns. There are bad guys and good guys on both sides, but the Freelancers are the most terrifying: stopping at nothing to destroy the couple and capture the baby.

The color palate of the illustrations is mostly blues, teals, and burnt orange and somewhat muted. The vibrancy is punched up when needed to introduce a particular type of being or to emphasize the action. Fiona Staples did a fantastic job, and many pages are frame worthy. The scan is of one of the bad guys and was picked to show you the colors and style without spoiling the story.

As for the story, Brian Vaughan did amazing work setting up the background to the action to come. The relationship between Marco and Alana is loving but not even close to being sappy. They banter, they are sarcastic, they are funny, but they clearly have a strong relationship. In addition, this is an adult graphic novel, so be prepared for sex and violence. Finally, I like Vaughan's sense of humor both in words and in pictures.

Saga: Volume One sets the stage for the story to come and ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. I can't wait to track down a copy of the next book.

Buy Saga: Vol. 1 at an Indie or at bookstore near you. This link leads to an affiliate program.
Image Comics, 2012
ISBN-13: 9781607066019
Rating: B+

Source: Bought (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy).


Daryl 1/28/13, 7:33 AM  

ooh ... i have never read a graphic novel .. this sounds like my kind of story .. i just may go buy it .. thanks!!!

Linda 1/28/13, 11:30 AM  

I really enjoyed this one. Great start to a new series.

Vasilly 1/28/13, 4:51 PM  

I really enjoyed this book. I'm glad you ended up enjoying it too. You are so right: the Freelancers were pretty terrifying especially that girl. I love the imaginations of both the writer and illustrator.

Darren @ Bart's Bookshelf 1/28/13, 5:38 PM  

I read this one the other day, and really liked it. I like the way the daughter narrates the story by adding her comments to the panels.

SuziQoregon 1/30/13, 12:28 PM  

I am SO looking forward to reading this. I'm currently number 5 on the library waiting list - (fortunately my county library system purchased 6 copies so I should be getting it fairly soon). In the meantime I have Fables and Y: The Last Man to keep me constantly supplied with a graphic novel.

I have discovered that I like having on GN in my currently reading mix at all times.

Lauren Elizabeth 1/31/13, 6:25 PM  

This sounds so intriguing! I added this to my TBR ages ago and just need to make some time for it. I adore the visual ingenuity in this book, and can't wait to dive into the story. Wonderful review!

Christine 2/8/13, 5:37 PM  

This one's been on my radar for a while now--I think before it was released, actually. I enjoy reading graphic novels, but what caught my attention, believe it or not, was when I spotted a version of the cover on goodreads that depicted Alana breastfeeding Hazel. I loved that--it made the couple seem so real to me. Anyway, the story arc sounds really good and exciting! I appreciate that there are good guys and bad guys on both sides.

I haven't seen this one come in at any of my local libraries yet. I may just have to buy it!

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