Thursday, June 20, 2013

Saga Volume 2

Written by Brian K Vaughan
Art by Fiona Staples

            Brian K Vaughan is one of the top comics writers out there.  His work on Y the Last Man and Ex Machina was great science fiction, and even Runaways was like a creator-owned book integrated into the greater Marvel universe.  Which puts plenty of pressure on Saga being good, and he’s made something that’s just naturally addictive.
            Marko and Alana are from different sides of a war between a planet of winged people and its moon of horned people, and since they’ve fallen in love and had a baby together, they’ve made enemies with both sides and beyond.  This volume features their initial journeys in their wooden rocket ship, the appearance of Marko’s parents, and a battle with the freelancer known as The Will.
            First things first, as always, can you jump on to this volume?  No.  Well, theoretically, you can probably catch up on what’s going on.  But it’s like coming into the middle of a movie.  Saga is, well, a saga, and you can’t just come into the middle of it.  This book is picking up on a cliffhanger from the last volume, and ends on a cliffhanger for the next volume.  Start with the beginning.
            Especially since you don’t want to miss any of the craziness that Vaughan and Staples have come up with.  Whereas sci-fi in TV shows or movies is restricted by what’s realistic to show, nothing is out of bounds in the world of Saga.  This volume alone features a planet that’s really an egg, a medic who looks like a mouse, and a giant ogre-ish alien with disgusting genitals.  It’s all part of this constant sense of fun to the series.  You don’t really know what’s going to show up next, you don’t know how the story will go on, and it all just makes you want to continue.
            And with this all, Vaughan still has the heart and brain that makes his series a success.  While the series could survive on its atmosphere alone, the voice that he brings to the characters is what really makes it shine.  Alana and Marko are people that you care about and you want to see them get away.  And we’re still not sure if they’re going to succeed.  The threat of death for both of them lurks everywhere, and the death of a character in this volume shows that it’s not something beyond the realm of possibility.  At the same time, you don’t want the villainous characters like The Will and Prince Robot IV to die either, because they are so fascinating in their own right.  We’re still getting hints of who, exactly, The Will is, with his relationships with The Strand and Slave Girl expanded.  And it says something that the final issue in this volume is solely focused on Prince Robot (who’s basically human besides having a TV for a head), and it’s just as great as everything else here, as we find out about his time in battle and the ruthlessness he’s willing to go to in order to get Alana and Marko.

            Saga can easily go next to Brian K Vaughan’s previous work as a must-read, and this second volume just solidifies that.

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