Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples | Review
Volume One collects the first six chapters of the sci-fi comic.
“It was a time of war,” the wise and wisecracking omniscient narrator tells us in Vaughan and Staples’s gripping new Saga. Then, she adds the wry kicker: “Isn’t it always.”
That’s the gut-punch at the conclusion of an action-packed opening sequence, one that begins with a graphic birth. The parents are the protagonists; their star-crossed union, the storytelling engine; and the child is the narrator. Well, her future self: She relates this entire, star-spanning saga (ahem) in flashback.
Always engaging, this tricky-to-label new series from Image (it began in early 2012) now receives its first collected edition, comprising the first six chapters. Author Vaughan dabbles in multiple playgrounds here: sci-fi, fantasy, war, romance and thriller. His serial-fiction résumé includes creating Y: The Last Man graphic novels and writing for TV’s Lost, so the reader’s in good hands, storywise—and his ambitious world-building is just getting started. He’s found his best collaborator yet in Staples, who delivers gorgeous, kinetic art. She’s equally at home drawing (relatively) realistic figures like our heroes, the winged Alana and the horned Marko, and their adversaries, including the wildly imagined bounty hunter the Stalk and the pompous but dogged Prince Robot IV.
Like Capulets and Montagues—or perhaps, more aptly, Union and Confederate soldiers—the wings and the horns share a mutual bloodlust, which makes romancing and copulating with the enemy the biggest sin. Will our couple survive? Hard to say. In this first volume, they struggle to escape a particular planet with their newborn as the odds mount against them. At least we know the kid makes it out alive.