Look up, librarians! Searching for an adult comic to recommend to fans of Star Wars? Launch them into another realm of fantasy, adventure, and science fiction with Saga, Volume 1, by author Brian K. Vaughan and artist Fiona Staples (Vaughan, 2013).
The front cover introduces rugged green-winged Alana, devoted Marko with his massive horns, and their newborn fixed at Alana’s breast – with gun and sword close by. These depictions promise readers robust storytelling about alien societies and family bonds. Love-struck Alana and Marko are from warring cosmic factions, and they must protect themselves and their baby from various persecutors, fiends, and dangers.
Might, right, fight, and flight exhilarate Star Wars viewers, with characters such as Darth Vader, Han Solo, and Jabba the Hutt. New readers of Saga should know that its characters also play out such issues. They include the comic’s Baron Robot XVIII, The Will (a crude mercenary with a moral code), and an arachnid lady beast.
Saga’s pages have an emphatic color palette, quickly spinning changes in perspective, and a mind-blowing array of creatures and beings. There are just enough expletives and sex to make this a grown-up read. There are just enough blood spatters and food-for-thought to excite and deepen this splendid story (Why does one abandon nonviolence?). Familiarity grounds the reader with bits of soap opera such as marital jealousy, and with slices-of-life such as baby naming and cellphone disconnects. But there are also ghost children, spells, prophecy, and magic.
The brilliancy of Vaughan & Staples’s Saga was recognized in 2013 with three Eisner Awards (Hughes, July 20, 2013, para. 1), six Harvey Awards (Seifert, September 7, 2013, para. 1), and a Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story (Walking Dead, January 8, 2014, para. 6). Share this comic with your readers, and let them know that the plight of a special child and the survival of cosmic bodies are at stake.
Hughes, J. (July 20, 2013). ‘Building Stories,’ ‘Saga’ dominate 2013 Eisner Awards. Retrieved on February 28, 2016 from the website of the Comics Alliance at http://comicsalliance.com/2013-eisner-award-winners-sdcc-2013/?trackback=tsmclip
Seifert, M. (September 7, 2013). Saga wins big at 2013 Harvey Awards, plus complete list of winners (para. 1). Retrieved on February 28, 2016 from the website of Bleeding Cool at http://www.bleedingcool.com/2013/09/07/saga-wins-big-at-2013-harvey-awards-plus-complete-list-of-winners
Vaughan, B. K. (2013). Saga, Volume 1. Berkeley, CA: Image Comics.
“Walking Dead” #115, “Saga” TPB Top Diamond’s Sales Charts for 2013 (para. 6). (January 8, 2014). Retrieved from the website of Comic Book Resources on February 28, 2016 at http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=50140