A sci-fi/fantasy space opera which is centered around an inter-species love story? I thought you’d never ask!
We love our funny books (re: comics) here at NH7.in and we spend a lot of our time discussing and generally obsessing about them. We thought we’d share some of our favourite new comics with you on our new weekly feature, NH7 Quick Draw.
Writer Brian K. Vaughan is among the defining breed of mainstream comic book authors and looking at his past work gives you an idea of what he’s all about. Vaughan has has his share of “capes” with his extensive work on X-Men and Runaways as well as a few releases for Batman and Green Lantern. He has built his name in the industry on two extremely important series that were integral to comics in the noughties, Y: The Last Man and Ex Machina. Fans of popular comics will no doubt have heard about both these highly-engaging, character-driven masterpieces which means that Vaughan’s latest series, Saga will be the subject of a fair amount of hype.
Saga had to live up to the high standards of Vaughan’s earlier creations and on first impression, it’s fair to say that it has. Nine issues of Saga have been released so far and from what we gather, Vaughan has laid out the ground work for something that he’s clearly been working on for a while. Saga is set in space, where a war is taking place between two extra-terrestrial races. Against this backdrop of space war, Vaughan introduces us to Marko and Alana, soldiers from opposite sides of the war that have fallen in love and run away from their respective armies. Alana gives birth to their baby, Hazel, at the beginning of the first issue and since then the couple have been on the run. Doing away with certain conventions in comics, the narrator of the story is in fact Hazel, and one can assume that she’s telling the story about her parent’s lives and what it took for them to raise her, but the narration appears not in the traditional narration box but rather as floating text in each panel. Naturally, very important people from both armies do not want this unholy union to continue and a variety of mercenaries and assassins are tailing the couple as they make their way through the galaxy.
Once again, Vaughan has created a set of characters that are intimately and intensely connected to each other. The relationship of Marko and Alana is the central theme of the series with the needs/hopes of the all the other major characters revolving around the fate of this unnatural union. The love story seems like one that can cut across the gender divide and appeal to both men and women because it seems on par with a real relationship, even though the guy has horns and the girl has wings. Speaking of which, artist/illustrator Fiona Staples might be the best artist to work with Vaughan yet (and that’s even taking into account Tony Harris’ work in Ex Machina). Staples’ work is clean, yet her penciling is deliberately imperfect yet sharp, and her colours are both bright and evocative.
Saga is sure to run for quite some time so if you want to catch up and follow series to it’s conclusion, there’s no time like the present. Ultimately, fans of Vaughan will not feel let down and people who’ve never seen his work before are sure to see some innovative writing in terms of sci-fi/fantasy.