Saga. Volume 1. by Brian K. Vaughan. Art by Fiona Staples.
Brian K. Vaughan is such a popular author that of course I had to buy his latest book, even if I never quite got into Y: the Last Man myself. This one, however, looked like fun for me as well as a necessary addition to the collection. Alana and Marko are both soldiers from planets that have been warring for generations. They fall in love and marry when Alana is assigned to be Marko’s jailer, but when we meet them, Alana is giving birth to their child. They are on the run from the authorities of both their planets, as such fraternization with the enemy is illegal. Their baby is born with wings like her mother and buds that will be horns like her father’s. Observant readers will note that Alana is breastfeeding her on the cover, and does so frequently and without hoopla through the story – unlike me, creating hoopla here for normalizing breastfeeding, at least among winged humanoids. They must flee immediately, however, and Marko’s resolution to give up violence for good is severely tested. Their pursuers include two high-profile assassins, one human and one scary woman-topped arachnid. Escape means making a hard bargain with the current residents of the bombed-out planet they’re on, in hopes of finding the perhaps legendary Rocket Forest. The universe they’re travelling in is full of odd things, including a ruling class of TV-headed nobility, such as Prince Robot IV. Most of the characters have at least some human aspects, but that doesn’t mean they’re normal-looking by a long shot. The art is beautiful and glossy and as realistic as such fantastical creatures could be, with some really beautiful images. Commentary is provided by the baby, which is somewhat disconcerting but at least provides assurance that she makes it to be old enough to tell her own story. While the characters we’re following don’t have the time to get kinky, one of the assassins pays a visit to the planet Sextillion, whose shop windows have models engaged in just about everything. There is blood and gore on a regular basis. Those make this decidedly adult fare, yet for those who can deal with the blood and sex (I’m afraid it’s more of a “get past” in my case), this is the start of a galaxy-crossing adventure, starring our star-crossed lovers and their sweet baby. There’s a small amount of time to think in all this, about the energy put into preventing the thought of peace by the powers, and the violence this tiny family needs to keep itself safe.
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