If You Like…
- Star Wars
- Alien creatures
- A truly believable love story
- Modern language in a fantastic setting
Then You’ll Like…
Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
When George Lucas created “Star Wars”, it blew the minds of millions around the world with its vibrant planets and epic adventure. Similarly, “The Fifth Element” took viewers on a strange, quirky romp through an techno-urban future.
Now imagine if the two got drunk and had a baby. Then you have something resembling Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. If this is your first time hearing about this truly unique comic series, take a seat and take notes. Here are five reasons why Saga should be at the top of your list during your next bookstore venture.
Great for Classic and Neo Sci-Fi Fans
Saga is fun for all fans of the science fiction genre. Doesn’t matter if you’re a dystopian fan, the hero’s journey, or mish-mash of randomness (lookin’ at you, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) Saga brings together all three in a nearly incomprehensible, yet relatable tale. Nothing is explained to you here; just take things as they are, whether they be rocket trees, a planet-sized brothel, modern colloquialisms, a cat who can detect lies, and so much more. Strap in for the ride…literally.
It’s About Family. I Promise.
The heart of Saga is about a couple named Marco and Alana. They come from two different planets, Landfall and Wreath. Landfall is Alana’s home, to a race of humanoid beings all equipped with types of wings (feathered, webbed, etc). Wreath is the moon that orbits Landfall, home to a magical race that all have horns. These two planets have been at war for generations, to the point where even other planets light-years away are forced to choose sides.
Marco is a former rebel from Wreath, and Alana is a soldier from Landfall tasked with guarding him as a prisoner. Sparks fly…after she hits him in the face and they bond over a novelist, of course. After running away together, they elope and she gets preggers. Since a hybrid baby of their two races has never existed before, it’s looked down upon as an animal union, and the villains come out in droves to hunt them down.
The first volume begins with their child’s birth, and Marco and Alana’s relationship could not be more in sync. They aren’t your typical Romeo and Juliet couple: they’re kicking ass and taking names, raising a daughter, and having petty fights like any other couple. Their relationship is so real, it’s almost palpable. You can practically feel the love they have for each other through the page. It’s what ties the story together; I don’t read Saga because I like the colorful worlds they travel to or the alien creatures and loose ends that they run into. I read it because I love this couple and am eager to see what brings them closer.
The Art Alone
Brian K. Vaughan (the writer) once commented that he loves working with Fiona Staples (the artist) because she never blinks at what he writes. The lady shows no fear, and boy does it reflect that.
Staples’ art is impeccable. It captures the magic you felt when you saw Star Wars or Star Trek for the first time, that discovery of new alien species and being dropped into worlds you didn’t recognize. Somehow, instead of creatures and landscapes that escape our understanding, it all feels real. It all boils down to what I stated earlier, that you don’t need anything explained and just take it like you see it. The colors alone will wake you up. They were truly ambitious and didn’t shy away from clashing blue-skinned folks, and green spider aliens.
Mature Content, but Relatable
Did I mention that this comic series is most definitely NOT for children? It’s not rated M for Mature for nothing, so parents may want to take a hard second glance before buying it for their kids. It’s pretty explicit.
As a creative-team driven comic, Vaughan and Staples don’t shy away from the small stuff. Sex, love and violence are dynamics in some of the characters and could be argued as a motivation for others. It’s on-screen and there to see, but it has a purpose. Instead of just telling us who’s lovers with whom, they show us or heavily hint at it. Which is exactly what you should be doing with literature.
On that note, I would very well argue that Saga is quite literary. It triggers the mind to think, to connect with characters on a primal level whether it be carnal desires, paternal instincts, placement of trust and more. It goes beyond just sci-fi, much like how those classics transcended their genres.
Sheer Epic Scale
Alright, I will admit that the universe. Is. Awesome. The worlds that Vaughan and Staples have created do not give two **** what you think of it. The idea alone that a rocket ship – ‘scuse me, rocket tree – is needed to tool around the universe should be exciting enough. How about a planet that’s actually a giant egg? Or an author who writes mundane romance novels with subliminal messages? Or a soap opera drama that viewers tune in to via hologram helmets? Not enticing enough?
Give it a read. Read one chapter. I guarantee that you’ll find something that intrigues you within the first five pages. At the time of this posting, only four volumes are out, but no signs of stopping anytime soon.
I’ll just leave it at that.
Will Make You Feel: Like running through the Sci-Fi genre on Netflix
Music to Listen to While Reading: MisterWives and Vance Joy
Publisher: Image Comics