Filed under: Image Comics | Tags: Brian K Vaughan, Fiona Staples, Saga, Star Wars
If you’re reading this soon after it was posted, and don’t already have a copy of Saga #1, chance are it’s going to be hard to come by in your Local Comic Shop, and for good reasons. This book, in more ways than one, is the Star Wars of comics, and let me tell you why.
First off, it’s written by Brain K. Vaughan. This alone is a good enough reason to invest in the book – he’s the man who brought us such quality series as Y the Last Man, Runaways and Ex-Machina. He’s also dabbled in TV screen writing for the series Lost (but don’t blame him for the crappy ending!). This guy (the George Lucas in this analogy - and yes I will keep it up throughout this review) is a grandmaster storyteller, but we haven’t seen his talents around these parts for a good couple of years. You’ll most likely have seen a lot of hype about this book, mostly generated by the fact the BKV hasn’t had a book out for so long – so we’re quite right to be excited.
Your second reason for buying this book is for the art, provided by Fiona ‘You can’t make a comic without’ Staples. The Canadian artist might not be that well known to most, her comic portfolio consisting of interior art on North 40 and Mystery Society along with some Superman/Batman covers, but after Saga she’s sure to become a household name. It feels like Staples has gone above and beyond the call of duty here, not only showing off with drawings fit for a children’s picture book (although certainly not all of them suitable!), but also adding her stamp on some of the more luxurious lettering throughout.
Lastly, the story is pretty bloody good – and it’s also pretty fucked up in places too. There’s few examples of stories that can convey the breadth of the universe it takes place in so quickly and concisely, but Saga is one of them. It’s another of those “long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” type stories – we can connect on a basic level with the characters because they share the same thoughts and feelings as us, they just so happen to have horns and wings and live on different planets with all sorts of different races and councils battling amongst themselves. It’s so easy to get bogged down in the details of race, language and allegiance with these types of stories, but BKV seems to be able to navigate us through the most sensible path, without sacrificing the story between our partnered protagonists.
In a matter of panels the main characters are fleshed out almost completely - they have their own unique voice and we love them already. There’s sure to be plenty of characters along our journey, but like Yorik in Y and Mitchell in Ex-Machina, these three (our duo and their narrator) will remain centre stage throughout, so it’s important that they are likeable from the offset.
On a monthly basis there’s plenty of #1 issues to choose from, all worthy of a jump-on, however you’ll regret it if you don’t pick this one up. Not only will you get fed up listening to everyone around you talking about it, you’ll be missing out on what is sure to be a fantastic tale. Issue #1 lays the ground work perfectly for this series without wasting a single panel, making it one of the best value for money books on the stands – unless you resort to getting a copy off eBay, that’s been jacked up in price, in which case it’s your own fault for not being prepared.
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