Saga is the extremely hyped and very much anticipated return to comics of acclaimed writer and fan-favourite Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, Runaways and Lost). It was originally billed in early solicits as "Game of Thrones meets Star Wars" and was launched to much critical fanfare and also adoration from the public with first and second printings completely selling out on release. It is most definitely heavily influenced by Star Wars and is based on ideas Vaughan had while growing up and also from his experiences as a new parent. It's Vaughan's first creator-owned work to be published by the fine folks at Image Comics and critics have described it as evocative of sci-fi/fantasy epics such as Lord of the Rings and even Romeo and Juliet.
The opening story arc of Saga details the trials and tribulations of two star-crossed lovers, Alana and Marko, from different, warring extra-terrestrial races, who are trying to raise their newborn daughter Hazel, who is additionally the series on-again, off-again narrator, amongst a gigantic intergalactic war. The two opposing sides to the war are the technologically advanced 'Landfall Coalition' where Alana came from and Wreath, Marko's former home and Landfall's single satellite where the residents can wield magic and have ram-looking horns. Marko met Alana when he was a prisoner of war and she was his guard. They eventually escaped together and in scene one of the first issue, we find Alana graphically giving birth to their daughter, "Am I Shitting? It feels like I'm shitting!"
Throughout the issue we slowly discover the pair turned trio are being doggedly pursued by not one but two bounty hunters. One is named Prince Robot IV, who has a TV set for a head and is employed by the Robot Kingdom and Landfall to recapture the escaped pair and the other is hired by the military of Wreath, a freelance bounty-hunter named The Will whose orders are to kill Marko and Alana and bring back the baby Hazel unharmed. He is accompanied by an unusually large feline named Lying Cat who can also detect lies. I know it all sounds like a complete and utter headfuck but it really is just something you have to read and you'll understand what I'm prattling on about. I'm definitely not doing it any justice describing it here in all its confusing, oddball glory.
Vaughn has employed third-person narration in his work for the first time in his career and it works wonders. The narration from a grown-up Hazel gives a different and unique perspective on the entire storyline. Along with this is the non-stop wittiness and black humour of the main character's dialogue. Space War, nudity, robot fornication, aliens, magic, whatever floats your boat you'll find it within the pages of this wonderful yet strange book. BKV is truly a one-of-a-kind writer and this is turning into his magnum opus.
The art by Fiona Staples is absolutely amazing. You knew it was going to be something special when you saw the immense cover art and promo shots. She wouldn't have had an easy task handling a script like this but it has been dealt with relative ease and sophistication. From colourful action scenes, to wide shots of the vast and empty universe, to her extremely detailed and top of the line facial expressions and even robot Kama-Sutra, there really seems like nothing she can't draw and draw well for that matter. It comes as no surprise her art for Saga has received nothing but wide acclaim from many reviewers and is close to being, if not THE star of the show here.
What else is there to say? Saga isn't for the fair-weather, read one issue here and there, fickle fans of the comic book world or those not prepared to buckle themselves in for the potential long haul. Saga is definitely looking like being just that and I for one cannot wait to see where it goes.