Saga, Vol. 7

Every time a new volume of Saga comes out, it turns into a race between my wife and I to see who can check it out first from the library.  She beat me this time.  Luckily, she’s good enough not to react too vocally to what’s happening so that by the time I have a chance to read it, there’s not a lot I feel I can predict.Saga

Vol. 7 is getting the plot back on track. I had a complaint about this regarding Vol. 6. After several volumes of meandering through several plot lines, they are all starting to converge again. In this case, we meet The Will, Gwendolyn, Marcos, et al. The seeds have been sown for an interesting turn of events in respect to the Landfallians and Wreath. We learn that the war is becoming more complex and people are starting to be seen as either resources or liabilities. Hazel is starting to assert herself in the story and I’m enjoying getting to know her. I hope she’s as prominent in future volumes.

The underlying message of this volume seemed to be the collateral damage between warring parties. In this case it’s the people of Phang, who are also Sophie’s people too. On this comet, innocent people are ignored by Landfall and Wreath in their quest to maintain control of the fuel resources. In a twist dramatic irony, we learn that Landfall and Wreath do agree on something and this becomes the climax of the volume. I’m curious to see how these threads will play out. I feel like the plot can either begin to wrap up, or we’re about to embark on a new plot line. Either way, I’m in for the journey.

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Saga, Volume 5

I’m all caught up on Saga, now.  Which should be a good thing.  But I’m not feeling so joyful.  I now have to wait for the next volume to come out.  Whenever that is.  The silver lining is that I don’t have to worry about spoilers and I feel like I’m now “in” with the Saga fans since I’ve read them all as they came out.  Now to just find a comic-con.

Volume 5 still continues the well thought out plots and character developments that have Saga 5become characteristic of the series.  Alana and Marko are still trying to find a safe place to lay down roots and raise their daughter.  Robot IV and the bounty hunters are still in play, although their reasons for pursuing have changed.  While the character development was the driving force of Volume 4, the plot becomes the vehicle for action in Volume 5.  For readers I think this alternation between plot and characters is a good way to pace the action along with the depth of the characters.

My only concern is that Mr. Vaughan and Ms. Staples are starting to become too much like G.R.R. Martin for my taste.  It seems like the characters I start to like usually don’t last long in Game of Thrones, and it’s starting to become a similar motif in Saga.  I’m still holding out hope, though, that Mr. Vaughan and Ms. Staples will give us a reasons for removing characters from the plot.

While the conflict has started to reach a fever-pitch, it doesn’t feel like it’s spinning out of control.  Instead, many of the background characters are stepping into the lime-light more and more and there are rays of sunshine in the increasingly cloudy world of our protagonists.  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Saga, Volume 2

Continuing the amazing story from Volume 1, Volume 2 delves into the stories of the other Saga 2characters in the Saga world.  Alana and Marko are fleeing the winged army and find out that the horned planet’s government is also out to get them.  But instead of an army, they’ve hired an assassin called, The Will.  He’s kick ass.  Like James Bond except no British accent.  But he’s got a bullet proof cape, a spaceship, and a giant cat that can tell if someone is lying (I promise it’s way cooler than how cheesy that sounds).

The Will is close to catching the fleeing couple when a subplot involving under-aged sex trafficking side tracks him on a planet called Sextillion.  It’s basically Las Vegas, but planet size.  While The Will doesn’t talk much, it’s his actions that make me want to know more.  He’s mysterious and just when you think you know him, you realize there’s more to his character.  His vicious and cold, yet is very loyal and is smarting from a break up with another assassin.  Weaving The Will’s story into the fabric of Alana and Marko’s gives more depth to the story and gives the readers a break from the fleeing duo.  It also shows us that there’ snot a clear distinction between who is good and bad.  This struggle is pretty much what makes it so hard for Alana and Marko to trust anyone; it’s not clear who’s on whose side.

Mid-way through this volume, Marko’s parents show up and we suddenly get a bit of multi-racial family drama.  His mother is angry at Marko for attaching him self to the enemy, but his father is more concerned with just getting to know his granddaughter.  It’s not heavy-handed, but there’s a lesson for our culture today and we move from being one distinct ethnicity to becoming multi-racial/ethnic families.  Ultimately the horned in-laws move past their biases and learn to just love and accept.

Once again Vaughan and Staples have created a captivating piece of art that deftly carries the plot from Volume 1 while also making Volume 2 a piece unto itself.  If you made it through Volume 1, keep going with Volume 2!

Saga Volume 1

Saga by Brian K Vaughan and illustrated by Fiona Staples burst onto my reading horizon Saga 1when my sister-in-law brought the first three volumes over and told my wife and I we HAD to read it.  Wanting to get more familiar with the graphic novel world I was immediately interested in reading them.  Plus, it’s a sci-fi graphic novel and I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to sci-fi/fantasy stuff.  I took the first volume and immediately got lost in the story.  I finished the first and immediately took up the next two and read them all in one sitting.  It was awesome.

This was almost two years ago and since then I’ve seen Saga become more and more talked about.  And for good reason!  The ultimate premise is that there’s this war between two neighboring planets.  The smaller planet is a people who have horns (horns of all types like sheep, goats, deer, antelope, gnu, buffalo, etc.) and who are able to channel magic.  Their antagonists are a winged people (whose style of wings range from insect to avian).  Almost like Star Wars their conflict has moved from just their two planets to all over the known galaxies.

Then we meet the protagonists. And by meet, it’s at the birth of their child.  She’s from the winged planet, he’s from the horned one, Alana and Marko, respectively.  Beginning in media res, we see that they are being hunted by the winged military, of which Alana once belonged.  As they escape capture we get flashbacks of how they met and what’s going on in the world around them.

The balance between Alana and Marko’s story and other plot lines is part of the beauty of this work.  This first volume sucks you into this world that you feel so familiar with, yet are still so interested to hear new facts.  In this balance Vaughan avoids the Romeo & Juliet trope, and thank goodness! And while we are speaking of beauty, the illustrations are off the chart!  Staples really captures the nuances of each individual and culture.  This is art at it’s finest!  I certainly recommend this if you are looking for a good absorbing read.  And now that there’s four volumes it’s like four servings of your favorite foods.