Series Review: Saga Volumes 1-7

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Saga (Volumes 1-7)
by Brian K. Vaughan (writer) and Fiona Staples (artist)
Published by: Image Comics
Form: Paperback
Big Themes: Forbidden Love, Family, Effects of War, Refugees, Trust, Growth

Summary from Goodreads (Volume One): When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.

From bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan, Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults.

My thoughts:
I just re-read Volumes 1-7 of Saga, and fell in love with this series all over again.

This is a comic for grown adults. Particularly Millennials who are embarking on the next phase of life–adulthood, married life, creating a family of your own. This is a love story, but not a meet cute, falling-in-love type story. This story starts with the birth of a child, from two forbidden lovers who married in secret. We start as the family is forming, and follow this family through the universe.


I adore this comic. I love Alana and Marko. I love that there is a beautiful, bizarre, action-packed space opera comic about a mom and a dad raising their daughter and trying to keep her safe.

This comic is definitely bizarre. The world is strange and gritty. There are aliens unlike anything you’ve seen before. A sexy blonde alien that is half spider. A red ghost that is missing her lower half. A blue cat that knows when people lie.

There is a lot of violence. Lots of swearing. Lots of sex. It’s an adult world with adult problems. I wouldn’t recommend this series to teens. Because honestly, they aren’t the target audience.

The core of the story is watching Marko and Alana and hoping they manage to succeed in raising their little girl in this messed-up alien world. Despite the bizarre nature of this universe, the characters are so REAL. You can relate and connect to their struggles and joys.

Vaughan’s writing is strong. Each character has motivation. There are clear character arcs. Staples’ art is stunning. Her drawing style adds such depth to the characters and world.

I fly through each volume because the plot is fast-paced and ever-changing. However, upon re-reading them, you notice the themes and questions that the comic forces you to ponder. What is the definition of family? When is violence okay? Is it selfish to put your own family’s safety above the safety of others?


This article in The Atlantic articulates better than I can the themes and topics this series explores.

The Sprawling, Empathetic Adventure of Saga
One of the most prestigious comic-book series in print today is an unwieldy, profane, and glorious ode to compassion and equality.

I just love this series so much. I don’t know where Vaughan and Staples are heading, but I trust them enough to hop on for a ride through their universe.

HR sealofapprovalOverall: Five stars and a Hughes Reviews Seal of Approval. If you enjoy expansive sci-fi universes, don’t mind adult content, and are looking for an unconventional comic series. This is it.

Comic Review: Watchmen


by Alan Moore
Published by: DC Comics
Big Themes: Superheroes, Realism, Morality

Earning a spot on TIME magazine’s list of the 100 best books of all-time, Watchmen examines morality and humanity through the stories of deeply flawed superheroes.

My Thoughts:
If you haven’t read Watchmen and want to take on one of the genre’s foundational texts, you should be aware going in that this is not an easy read, for many reasons. This comic is DENSE. Every panel, every page, every section has so many layers and so much meaning that reading this comic is hard work. You won’t catch every layer of meaning on a first read, much less your tenth read. This comic is also deep and dark. It’s not a light read, though it has it’s moments of humor and hope.

You should approach Watchmen as you would a difficult piece of literary fiction. Be prepared for it to challenge you and make you think about life’s essential questions.

I embarked on Watchmen when my boyfriend mentioned it was one of his favorites. We’d only been dating a month, and I purchased it at a bookstore and toted it to the beach. It would be three years before I finished it. Three years.

It took me that long because I didn’t enjoy reading about such flawed and unlikable characters. This was a kind of story I did not usually read. While I can handle darkness, hence my love of Poe, I had a hard time pushing through such a dense text without any characters I wanted to root for.

What ultimately got me to finish it? Over time, I’ve become more fascinated with the idea of gray characters. Characters who move along the line of the morality spectrum. I want to write characters with more layers and who aren’t easily distinguished as good or evil.

And while I don’t think I’ll ever write something as dark as Watchmen, it was the kind of reading experience that, being outside my comfort zone, helped me to grow as a reader and writer.

My favorite part of Watchmen, was Dr. Manhattan’s realization on Mars for why mankind is worth saving. That moment really pulls the entire book together for me. That despite evil choices and evil people, good and miracles can grow even in the darkest circumstances.

Ambitious and thought-provoking, Watchmen deserves its reputation as a landmark and literary work in the comic book genre.