When I was a kid in the 80’s, Star Wars was the biggest thing in my life. Sure, I loved Transformers and He-Man, but in the end Star Wars had the biggest impact on me. The blend of different genres was so fresh and new, and the many, many (..many) toys made me a long time fan. Why do I bring up Star Wars? Well the next comic I am reviewing is a space opera like Star Wars, but more mature with some very interesting themes.
The Image Strikes Back
Once more an image comic will be the subject of my review. It’s name: Saga. The name is aptly titled, I will explain later. But first a bit of back story, Brain K. Vaughan wrote the series, who at it’s initial launch called it ‘Star Wars meet Game of Thrones’. The inspiration behind the comic and a running theme in the book is parenthood, with two parents of different worlds raising their kid in a crazy, dangerous galaxy. For Vaughan himself the comic is his kid brought to life in a period of an economic less stable comic climate.
The Saga Strikes Back
Right from the beginning the story sucks you in. The first few pages are of a woman giving birth. It very quickly becomes evident that this child is the omniscient narrator. You meet the main characters, Marko and Alana. Star crossed lovers from different sides in a war. She was his warden in his prison, they fell in love and ran away.
Continuing on the background of the story gets more fleshed out and you get to explore this universe step by step. There are 2 worlds at war: Landfall, part of the technologically advanced Robot Empire, and it’s only moon, Wreath, a world where magic rules.
Marko and Alana both get people sent after them because of their unholy union and it’s offspring. This is done by a Prince from the robot empire, who has a TV for a head. The Wreath send out bounty hunters, including a man named The Will and his sidekick. This sidekick is one of the best things of the series; Lying Cat, a sassy cat who knows when somebody is lying and is not afraid to call them out on it.
Why you should read it
The first book takes your hand and when it starts running, you follow instinctively. The story is just so good. The art is gorgeous and the writing is solid. Yes, it is like Star wars, and yes, Romeo and Julliette is surely an inspiration. But this comic is so much more. It is better than the sum of it’s parts, because of the adult themes running through the book (child prostitution for example) and the way it handles those themes. It also contains great characters that you will love more and more. When I give the first book a reread I can’t help but want to pick up the other books again as well.
Buckle up, we are going into space.