Book Review: Saga Deluxe Edition Volume 1 (Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples)

Publisher: Image Comics

Pages: 504

Release Date: November 25th 2014

Summary (from Goodreads):

Saga is the story of Hazel, a child born to star-crossed parents from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war. Now, Hazel’s fugitive family must risk everything to find a peaceful future in a harsh universe that values destruction over creation.

Review:

I’m not even sure where to begin with this review.

I got Saga as a present from Nathan for Christmas 2014, so it’s taken me a while to get round to it. I’m not sure why really, except it’s a big book so wasn’t really one I could take on my travels. I’m kind of glad I put it off now though, as there’s some bits I relate to more now and probably enjoyed more because of that.

I’ve started reading more graphic novels lately, but I always have this secret fear that I’m not reading them right. I read them as I read books: quickly, not because I’m rushing, it’s just how I’ve always read. I worry with graphic novels that I’m not giving the pictures enough attention. And sometimes that shows I think, as I get confused with what’s going on.

This wasn’t the case with Saga though. I knew exactly what was going on, and immediately felt comfortable in the world. That’s a pretty huge compliment, as it’s a massive and complex world, and to be able to feel immersed in it completely from the first issue is really impressive. The world is rich with history – all hinted at, subtly bringing it together rather than one big info-dump – and is spread across several different planets, each with distinct visuals and creatures to match.

Then there are the characters. Man, I just loved them all. I was even rooting for the villains, which shows how well rounded they all are.

The main story is following Hazel, a new born baby who’s parents are different species, on opposite sides of a long standing war. Her parents, Alana and Marko are on the run from both of their own kinds as they try to stay out of the war and keep themselves and Hazel alive.

I loved Alana – she was crass and funny and just my kind of girl. Add to that her being a new mother, like me, and I just related to her completely. Some of her comments, from the first page where she’s giving birth, really resounded me.

Accompanying them are Marko’s parents and the ghost of half a sassy teenage girl who is bound to Hazel and becomes her night time sitter, as well as an essential part of the group as she helps them out of many scrapes with her resourcefulness and powerful illusions.

Then we have their pursuers.

My least favourite was Prince Robot IV. There’s nothing wrong with him and I found him and his story interesting, but just not as much as the others. Someone’s got to come last anyway.

Then we have The Will and The Stalk, two rival Freelancers who have both been hired to assassinate Marko and Alana and capture Hazel alive. The Stalk is some kind of spider alien and looks incredible. The Will is accompanied by Lying Cat, a beautiful cat who says when people are lying, and was probably one of my favourite characters. They’re soon joined by Gwendolyn, a woman with a vendetta against Marko, and Sophie, a six year old slave girl he rescues. While I felt like these were some of the villains of the story, seeing as they’d been hired to kill our protagonists, but I loved them all still.

So much happens in this book, and I just adored it all. There’s a wealth of interesting creatures and exciting encounters with them, and the war story just sings to me. I don’t think I can put across how much I enjoyed this in words, so I’d just encourage you to read it. Now.

Copy of an art exhibit

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