Saga (Volumes 1-7)
by Brian K. Vaughan (writer) and Fiona Staples (artist)
Published by: Image Comics
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.
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.
Overall: 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.