Holy smokes… I am HOOKED. It literally took me an hour to read Saga: Volume One by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, and now I need to read the next one. And the next one, and the next, and the next! Because currently there are seven volumes. I’m thinking there might be some early Christmas presents from me to me in the near future.
Okay, now let me attempt to summarize what I just read. This story begins in the middle of a war between planet Landfall and its moon, Wreath. The people of each planet are different, kind of like races. Though the origin of the war is still unclear, the races of each place despise one another. However, the comic begins with a baby being born… between a winged woman from Landfall named Alana, and a horned man from Wreath named Marko. They are married. This is a big no-no. As a result, multiple groups of beings are out to kill Alana and Marko. I don’t want to give much more away, but the rest of this first comic follows their journey to outrun their would-be assassins.
Of course, it is not this simple. The story is written in real time, but thanks to gentle interjections the reader knows that Alana and Marko’s daughter, Hazel, is actually narrating the story. Though she is a baby in this first volume, she is looking back and telling her story, which at that point is her parents’. It’s fascinating to get not only the plot at hand, but the foreshadowing plot of what is to come through Hazel’s words. As if that is not enough, I have a suspicion that parts of the story that focus on a different character (The Will) are somehow happening both in the future and in the present of the story (although I cannot confirm these suspicions until I read the subsequent volumes!) Either way, this comic is an excellent use of interwoven plot points that are seemingly separate but not.
Here’s the deal: if you are a fan of sci-fi, fantasy, comic books or all of the above then this first volume is absolutely for you. However, I do not think I would house this volume on the shelves of my high school English classroom. On the back cover there is the rating “M/Mature” and it is there for good reason. There is a LOT of graphic violence and sexual nudity throughout the entire work. It all serves the plot, but it is there nonetheless. I understand that graphic themes of this nature appear in many other novels, but it is tricky when images accompany it. I am an adult, and there were a few pages that made me feel extremely uncomfortable. That being said, this first volume covers some important concepts such as war, sex trafficking, interracial marriages, corrupt power… the list goes on. I love what I just read, but I do not think I would feel comfortable handing it out to my students.
As for myself, though, onto volume two!