What did the
Art by Fiona Staples
Size: 44 pages
I am abundantly aware of how easy it would be for me to like this book out of some sense of obligation. As a fan of Vaughan’s past work, it’s hard for me not to be excited that he’s back in the game. And the thing is, so far, SAGA is everything I could have hoped.
Which is to say, really, really good.
(Maybe it’s worth making this note now: I think BKV is quite fallible. There’s a lot of his stuff that I think is just okay. I tend to think that he is very good at starting things and less good at maintaining them and making plots pay off. So my adoration for this issue is not coming from a completely fanboyish perspective, I’d like to think.)
Anyway. You know by now that this is the story of two lovers who, Romeo & Juliet-like, come from opposing sides in a galactic war that’s lasted as long as anyone can remember. They have a baby. This baby provides the narration. The dialogue is snappy enough, though maybe it could’ve felt more…dialectic. Anyway.
The book is meaty. There’s a lot of pages for $2.99, and a lot of stuff happens to get the story rolling. So much the better.
But the thing that really draws me into this series is the world. At first it feels strangely disjoint, a crazed hybrid of some parts fantasy and some parts space opera, and that with a bit of a retro feel: the members of the Robot Kingdom (which is a thing) dress like they’re 19th century British officers and have heads that look like TVs. And also have sex. I don’t know why. Maybe there’s a reason.
If you accept the weirdness – which reminds me, I have to say, of J.M. DeMatteis’s MOONSHADOW, a little – then the world is vibrant. Our heroes are on the backwater planet Cleave, where the factions have military forces that seem to be made of equal parts sci-fi tech and prehistoric beasts. Other scenes to place elsewhere, like Wreath, where we meet a really awesome creature called a Lying Cat. The world exists on a sort of pseudo-logic that doesn’t explain itself, and I’m totally okay with that.
I think I’ve read comics I enjoyed more this month. But none left me with as much lasting enthusiasm and thirst for me as SAGA.
Art: 3 - Good