Monday, May 23, 2016

Graphic Novel Review: Saga Volume 1-5

My new favorite graphic novel series is definitely Saga, action-packed, funny, and incredibly relevant to our times. With a war between a moon and a planet spreading out into the galaxy, one couple will defy the odds and fall in love despite being from opposing sides. Marko and Alana elope and procreate to give us our narrator Hazel, who tells the story of his life as her parents become fugitives from the two most powerful forces in the universe.

Brian K. Vaughn brings humor and an intriguing plot while Fiona Staple makes every image look cool and expand on this bizarre world in an awesome visual form. From humanoid computer to Lying Cat to the spider The Stalk freelance assassin, all the characters and species are brimming with new ideas yet at the same time, many things seem remarkably similar to our own world. 

I've been reading the series by volumes and I'm excited to see that the sixth part will be released next month. I recently purchased Volumes 4 and 5 and breezed through all of the issues once again to catch up to where I was and move ahead after revisiting all of my favorite characters like The Will, D. Oswald Heist, and Prince Robot IV. From Alana to Izabel, the ghost tied to Hazel, to Klara, Marko's Mother, to Gwendolyn, the scorned lover, this comic is filled with strong female characters.

These series is irreverent like most of the graphic novels that I pick up, but this one is exceptional with some speech bubbles saying some shocking stuff that makes me laugh out loud in public. The panels do not let up with gore and sex that aren't just for shock value but also inform the story as the stakes rise.

 The world-building is phenomenal jumping from planet to planet with each character and setting seeming to have a depth of backstory that goes back thousands of years. There is also a lot foreshadowing on the part of Hazel so I'm really looking forward to this graphic novel continuing for years to come. Like popular fiction of the current age that I enjoy a lot, characters come and go and nearly every issue has another death that is both shocking and emotional.

While also giving us entertainment to get lost in, the story also comments on the real world as I've mentioned. From a war that has become so distant we no longer have it weighing on our collective conscious but people are still suffering and dying because of our choices to a citizenry getting lost in narratives or drugs to no longer feel bad about the world, or world, around us, Saga is a reflection of the current state of a world tearing itself apart for reasons that are no longer known to those that are left alive.

I cannot recommend Saga enough. The comic can be purchased by the issue, by volume, or in a larger collection. Readers will find enjoyment in this story if they appreciate subversive commentary or just a fun science fiction story with a growing universe. I don't know which television station or movie studio will be brave enough to take this project on but when that time comes, I hope it is done justice for the awesome story that it is!

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