Saga - Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples (Review)

Amazon Summary: Winner of the 2013 Hugo award for Best Graphic Story! When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe. From New York Times bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina) and critically acclaimed artist Fiona Staples (Mystery Society, North 40), Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults.

Voted one of the top graphic novels of the year by the NYT, IGN, the Examiner, and SF Weekly. Voted Best Comic of the year by MTV Geek and Best New Series by Paradox Comics. Voted a finalist in the GoodReads Best GN of 2012 contest. Named one of Time Magazine's top 10 graphic novels for 2013.

Rating: 5/5

Review: If you're looking for 'THAT' comic - you know what I mean, the comic that is going to make you passionate about stories & art again, look no further. Everything you're reading now is good and all, but it does feel a little mundane and nothing's really punched you in the gut in a while or gotten your breath to catch. As much as I love picking up my New 52 trade issues when I visit my comic shop - I hadn't read anything gush-worthy in quite a long time. A big thank-you is getting thrown out to my buddy Mike for recommending this series in the first place and lending me his first copy.

To be honest, I was instantly intrigued once I saw the cover of the first Trade Paperback featured two main characters of color in an obviously sci-fi setting, with the female protagonist openly breast-feeding her baby while holding a gun. Despite the fact that the "Romeo and Juliet" love story didn't seem like the most thrilling plot, I was utterly sold. I'm happy to say, two books in and I still haven't been disappointed. Whether I'm considering the series through a political lens, a feminist lens, a creative lens - it hits every mark.

While it definitely has star-crossed lover elements, for the most part Saga's overarching plot is complex enough to stay interesting throughout but easy to follow due to the phenomenal writing. The story begins with the main characters, Alana and Marko, giving birth to their first child. We quickly find out Alana is from the large planet of Landfall, while Marko is from Wreath, the moon of Landfall. It's a simple setup that allows for some amazing innovation and gripping storytelling as you begin to explore this Universe.

This book is for mature audiences, absolutely. Sex and violence abound, Saga still manages to navigate these topics in an original manner. Without spoiling too much, one of my favorite scenes had to be The Will's brief exploration of the planet Sextillion (a brothel planet to entertain the soldiers) and the amazing scenes Fiona depicted. This is one of the few times I felt like I saw a piece properly giving ~alien sex~ it's due. Is that a weird opinion?? Maybe. But a lot of sci-fi work takes a stab at similar concepts and I've always felt we're too safe in what we imagine. If you're giving me sci-fi erotica, I want it to be weird and interesting - not just a green girl with 3 boobs, you know?

I could talk about the art FOREVER. Like this is the sort of artwork that makes you look up every convention Fiona is going to be at because you NEED to have this signed NEED TO. And has basically convinced me that I will read literally anything she illustrates into the future indefinitely. It's absolutely beautiful, sexy, colorful, emotional, subtle, creative - it's fantastic. Vaughan and Staples are a literal powerhouse together and I can't praise this series more.

Final Thoughts: If you like comics, don't like comics - I don't care! READ IT!

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