Thursday, June 26, 2014

Saga (Volumes Two & Three) by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Saga, Volume 2  Saga, Volume 3 

The frustrating thing about reading graphic novels/comics is that  they come in drips and drabs.  It is difficult to write a review when the full story is not yet completed.  It is especially  annoying when a graphic novel/comic is really good because you just want to know how it all ends.  I suppose this is what Charles Dickens’s first readers felt like when his work was published in serial form.  Not that I’m comparing Saga to Dickens’s work, just the experience of having to wait.

This is a long way of saying that I am loving Saga so far, having read volumes one through three, which encompasses chapters 1 through 18.  It is an amazing story about among other things, war, and the people trying to survive it.  There are so many random good, interesting things that happen in Saga, too many to mention so I’ll just name a couple.

There is an interesting commentary on gender politics.  Actually commentary might not be the right word as that implies a definitive statement.  Saga doesn't so much make statements as raise questions.  Take Marco’s parents for instance.  Marco, Alana, and their baby Hazel are still fleeing for their lives.  Marko’s parents end up catching up with the young family.  Of the two, Marko’s mother is the aggressive, warmonger who truly believes in the war.  She is not happy that her horned son has married the winged Alana.  Marko’s father is more accepting and sews new outfits for Alana and Hazel.  After having spent some time with her son and his family she tells Alana, who has readily embraced the role of new mother and wife, that the role of a new mother is out in the workforce earning a living to support her family not acting as some sort of domestic goddess.  Alana finds her mother-in-law’s comments simultaneously progressive and offensive, feeling that no one should get to tell her what kind of mother she has to be. 

The slave girl introduced in volume one gets a name other than "slave girl".  She feels dirty for what she was made to do on planet Sextillion.  There is a cat who can detect lies who tells the newly named girl that she is lying when she says she is dirty.  This was one of my favorite scenes.

Volume two of Saga contains a lot of the backstory of how Marko and Alana met, and about Marko’s childhood.  Volume three continues the story with lots of violence but also with hope that the family will survive.  I hope volume four comes out soon.

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