Have you been reading Image’s new book Saga? Because you should be. It is written by Brian K Vaughn who previously wrote a couple of little books called Ex Machina and Y: The Last Man, and if that isn’t enough to convince you to drop an extra $3 per month maybe this column will.
Saga is an epic space opera, part Star Wars, part Romeo and Juliet, and it has a little bit off Heavy Metal thrown in for good measure. However, with all the other works that the series will inevitably be compared to, there is something wholly unique about the book, and it seems fresh and new at the same time.
The story is about Alana and Marko, two lovers from different, warring races, who have a child together. The two races live on a planet and its moon, which necessitate the war being outsourced to other worlds (as the destruction of one would disrupt the gravity and destroy the other). The union of the couple necessitates various factions searching for their offspring, including some terrifying bounty hunters. I am amazed that in a the category of bad-assed bounty hunters writers and artists can still come up with new ideas, but the characters The Will and The Stalk will join the ranks of other fictional hunters such as Boba Fett and Dog.
The story is narrated by the child Hazel. This eliminates the fear that she will be killed, but creates in the reader a sense of wondering how she will end up. And how will her parents fit into the intergalactic war? Each issue produces more questions than answers, and I mean that in the best possible way. As with Brian K Vaughn’s other stories I got the sense that little things shown in these first two issues will become important later on, and that each issue is part of a longer, masterfully crafted story arc.
The art by Fiona Staples suits the story perfectly. Tight lines, glorious set pieces, and amazing character design. The monitor-headed robotic monarchy are designed to become a very recognizable figure in comic books. Only two issues in and readers already have a sense of how the world works visually.
I must admit that it has been a while since an Image book was on my monthly pull list, but Saga gets the highest honour that I can bestow upon a comic book: when I finish an issue I immediately wish that I had the next one in my hand. It is that good.