Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Book Review: Saga - Volume 1

book cover for volume 1 of SagaGoodreads has been recommending this one to me for some time, and good many of the people I follow there gushed with praise. My local library had a copy so I figured that I'd finally pick it up. I burned through it in two days. I only put it down because I had to sleep. Then I read it again.

As per the book blurb, two soldiers on the opposite side of a war fall in love and conceive a child. All they want now is to be left alone to raise her in peace. But the opposing factions have been at it for so long, that talk like that is treasonous, blasphemy. Now they're being hunted down in order to stifle their narrative busting idea that peace between their worlds is possible.

There's an American-Soviet Cold War parallel here. Both worlds recognized early on that they'd grown too powerful. If the war continued on their respective worlds (one is a moon of the other planet), the damage would be catastrophic and likely lead to mutually assured destruction. So instead, they've exported their war to other worlds in the galaxy. Forced to choose sides, the locals soon realize the hard way that it's a lose-lose situation. Worlds are mined; people are executed for collaborating with the enemy. They've become collateral damage in a war without end.

I get a slight Heavy Metal vibe (film or comic). It most notably comes through in the scenes on the pleasure planet, Sextillion. There's also Saga's juxtaposition of magic and technology in a space fantasy setting that lends a commonality to Heavy Metal, though Saga seems more grounded with its adult themes—some of them dark—than some of the latter's absurdist stories.

But enough of the comparisons. Brian Vaughn has written a compelling story, told with straightforward dialogue and populated with a whole smorgasbord of mashup aliens, wonderfully rendered by Fiona Staples. Staples' artwork captures the fantastic elements of the story and perfectly conveys the emotions of its characters. I love the color palette. The backgrounds look like they're watercolors while the characters are rendered in solid colors.

I have to give this five stars. I can't think of a reason why I shouldn't.


1 comment:

  1. Amazingly enough, I convinced my wife to read it, and she enjoyed it, too.