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.

Saga, Vol. 6

I’m glad I met the Saga series last year.  Each time a new volume comes out my wife and I race to see who can get a copy from the library first.  I’ve enjoyed each volume in its own right, but as the series has progressed I’ve noticed that instead moving the plot forward, the last several volumes have settled in on one or two characters andSaga given us a more in-depth look at their development and motivations.  Sometimes this works and sometimes it feels like the series has stalled.  Once the entire series is written and completed, I think it will become clear whether this works or not.

Specifically to Volume 6, it felt like Saga meets Orange is the New Black. 90% of the plot happens in a detention center which creates some interesting conflicts.  There’s also an interesting character whom we met in the middle of her shower (it wouldn’t be Saga if there wasn’t some random nudity).  I’m interested to see where they’re going to take this character.  It’s one of the developments I can’t wait for in Volume 7.

This is the first volume where we meet Hazel as her own character. She’s aware of her precarious position but still has that ability children possess to recognize the good in people. I’m really glad they included Hazel’s teacher in this volume.  I feel that teachers don’t always get a chance to appear in literature unless it’s in a negative light.  The relationship between Hazel and her teacher is dynamic. I hope this isn’t the last we see of her.  I can’t wait for volume 7!

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 3

The third installment of the Saga quest was, different, shall we say from the previous two.  Saga 3It’s the middle-child of the group, I guess you could say.  Continuing the story of Alana and Marko and their quest to keep their daughter, Hazel safe from the clutches of their warring governments, Volume 3 pauses the forward momentum of the plot and take sometime to give background to many of the characters that we have been introduced to in Volumes 1, 2.

The Brand is still trying to hunt them down while Marko’s ex-girlfriend, Gwendolyn, has met up with The Brand in her quest to bring home Marko to face justice.  The Brand is still recovering from the loss of a loved and a friendship/alliance forms between he and Gwendolyn.  Together they try to rehabilitate Sophie, the child sex-slave The Brand rescues from Sextilion.  However complications ensue when all is not as it appears on their planet.  Because who ever thought there were happy endings when space has become as dystopic as Earth is/was/will be.

Next to take up the chase for Alana and Marko is Prince Robot IV.  At first I thought this species was just a humorous gag the writers threw in, but in this volume they’ve done a good job showing the complexities the Robots have.  Imagine humans with blue-tinted skin, but with TV sets for heads.  Their thoughts and emotions are mirrored on the screens, and they can change their hands into weapons or anything they’d like.  The Robot kingdom is allied with Landfall against their enemies from Wreath.  But IV is getting disenchanted with the war.  And his back story and personality start to make readers realize he’s more complex than a first reading might reveal.

I can’t go much further into the plot without spoiling it.  And that would be a travesty.  So if you’ve made it through volumes 1, 2, keep reading!  Just realize the pace slows down, but only so the characters become even more developed and endearing to the readers.

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.