The honest truth about this review is that it falls victim to the “I love it so much, I just want to fangirl and can’t form logical thoughts on the matter” category. But I’m going to do my best, here, because if you haven’t tried Saga, then you should. And I need to tell you why.
Saga is a glorious explosion of genre goodness, with space ships and high tech armies on one side, and tree ships and magic on the other. Marko and Alana, the two main characters, come from opposite sides of a war between the planet Landfall and its moon Wreath. They’ve committed treason by running away together and having a child—little Hazel who is, also, the narrator of the story—and pretty much everyone is out to get them.
Notable among these bounty hunters are The Will and Lying Cat (whom I love very much), as well as The Stalk, a female spider…person…. As if that wasn’t enough, Price Robot IV—literally a person with a television head, which is often unsettling, especially when the screen begins replaying horrific war scenes from his past—is on their trail as well, and not only is he incredibly intelligent about tracking them, but he brings his fair share of terror along in the form of some intense PTSD moments that are, not going to lie, pretty chilling.
Along the way you’ll meet other characters as well, all with their own special brand of awesome. And where you might think that there are “good guys” and “bad guys,” think again. Everyone’s reasons for his or her actions are justifiable within the context of their lives, and all of the characters are pretty sympathetic in their own way. Except, perhaps, for Mama Sun and her skeevy employees, what with the child slaves and all.
So if you’re behind Marko and Alana getting away, you’ll probably feel conflicted about rooting for the other characters as well. But what are you going to do? He’s adorable, she’s brazen, and they bonded over a trashy romance novel that, turns out, might be a revolutionary treatise. It’s the best romance in the universe.
And then, of course, the in-laws show up.
I make this out to be very light hearted and, in many respects, it is. But Saga also handles some pretty heavy issues. It does so with thoughtfulness, however, and all of these elements together make it a truly rich experience. There were moments when I literally held my breath, others when I laughed out loud, and still others when I felt a hard pang of grief for the characters.
And that’s just the story. I haven’t even mentioned the art. Suffice it to say that Fiona Staples is one of my new favorite artists. I can’t imagine her style not appealing to just about anyone. Her artwork is gorgeous and expressive while having a carefree quality that I absolutely can’t get enough of. Her ability to portray character emotions is incredible—I don’t think I’ve seen it done so well in a very long time.
And that, my friends, is Saga in a nutshell. The first two compiled volumes are currently available for purchase. I’m not sure when the third volume will be available—no doubt when there’s another six issues of the comic to bind up. Frankly, I’m tempted to start collecting them individually, just so I don’t have to wait.
Read more Sci-Fi Month Posts!