Graphic Novel Review: Saga Volume One

Graphic Novel Review: Saga Volume One

Saga: Volume One, written by Brian K. Vaughan and drawn by Fiona Staples, is unique even among the imaginative world of graphic novels. The sci-fi / fantasy epic was published in 2012 and promptly won the 2013 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award for Best Writer, Best New Series, and Best New Continuing Series.

Saga: Volume One follows new parents Alana and Marco as they face the struggles of fledgling parents.  Unlike other first time parents, they have a little more to worry about.  Alana and Marco are an interspecies couple from warring planets, and their child is considered an abomination. In fact, Alana and Marco were once soldiers, but after deserting their armies and running away together, they are branded as traitors. As their home planets continue to wage war, the one thing both sides seem to agree on is that the young family must be killed before word of their disloyalty can spread.

Thus begins the mesmerizing story created by Vaughan and brilliantly depicted by Staples. Each character is compellingly human as you follow their struggles for life and family. Vaughan has cited the birth of his own son as inspiration for the story.

Saga is rated ‘M’ for Mature. At times its content is a combination of graphic violence and nudity, with artistically bold drawings in bright colors. Can you picture what a half-naked, blond, six-eyed, armless, insectoid assassin looks like? A misguided Price Robot IV? The last remaining rocket tree in a rocket tree forest? How about the pink, eternally mangled ghosts that still haunt that forest? Neither could I, but after you’ve seen and read Saga, you can’t help but feel like Vaughan and Staples tapped in your childhood dreams and nightmares, and transferred them to paper.

At 160 pages, Saga: Volume One is fast-paced. It is made up of 6 chapters that were originally released as individual comics. Saga: Volumes Two and Three has since been released. Other work by Vaughan includes Y: Last Man Standing, Ex Machina, and the scripts for multiple episodes of seasons 3-5 of the TV show Lost. Staples has won 9 awards so far her contributions to Saga and is also well known for her work on the graphic novels Mystery Society and North 40.

Saga: Volume One is a balance of words and visuals that is difficult to explain with just one and without the other. If you love graphic novels or you have never read one before, Saga: Volume One is an equally exceptional experience.

Written by: Taylor Alcantar


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