Saga: Volume 1, by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

Saga tells the story of Alana, Marko, and their daughter Hazel, as they try to find some small slice of peace in a galaxy that’s locked in a neverending war. Former soldiers hailing from different sides of the conflict, Alana and Marko’s relationship and abandonment of duties makes them a target for just about every government involved in the war, as well as a handful of deadly bounty hunters in their employ…

Volume One, which collects the first six issues of the comic series, opens with Alan giving birth to Hazel, and the couple briefly sharing in the pure happiness of the moment, before being attacked and narrowly escaping capture. From there, they set out to find a way off Cleave, one of many planets upon which the war between Landfall and its moon, Wreath, is being fought. The true wonder of the creators’ imagination is on full display in Volume One, as the family flees from a shanty-town, through a murky, haunted swamp, and eventually finds their way to Rocketship Forest, which is exactly what you’d expect, from the name – a forest, where organic, space-faring vehicles grow from the dirt. That’s the kind of fantastical, wonderful universe we’re dealing with, here.

Along they way, they meet a cohort of friends, foes, and in-betweens. There’s Izabel, Hazel’s sarcastic but loveable ghost babysitter; The Will, a ruthless bounty hunter on the surface, but so much more than that underneath; The Stalk, another bounty hunter with a past intertwined with The Will’s; Prince Robot IV, an unforgiving senior officer in the army of the Robot Kingdom, an ally of Landfall; and plenty of others.

I said in my overview of the series that characterisation is its true strength, and that’s never more apparent than in Volume One. Despite a large number of central characters being introduced, they all get their fair share of page time and the chance to come to life. Careful pacing means that the action never really stops, but never grows stale, and every encounter is used to the fullest to offer insight into the people adorning the pages.

And if all this isn’t enough to make you want to stick around for the next book, Saga: Volume 1 ends on one hell of a cliffhanger.

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Matthew is a freelance writer and reviewer with a love of all things nerdy. Comics and graphic novels are his main area of interest, but he’ll read anything that grabs his attention, be it romance, historical non-fiction, or anything in between. Some of his favourite books are The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, the Sandman comic series by Neil Gaiman, and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. When he’s not reading, you’ll probably find him playing video games, eating pizza, watching cartoons, and trying to keep up with his cats, Clementine and Frankie.

  • Rose December 12, 2014, 8:07 pm

    Really looking forward to these and the whole new section!


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