Saga: The Space Opera You Never Knew You Wanted

Saga CoverSaga is like a space Romeo and Juliet, with bounty hunters, ghost baby sitters, and robot princes. Written by Brain K. Vaughn and illustrated by Fiona Staples, it focuses on the couple Alana and Marko with their newborn Hazel. Alana is from the planet Landfall and Marko from Landfall’s moon, Wreath. Landfall and Wreath are bitter enemies, so Alana and Marko were doomed from the start. Alana helped Marko escape from a camp on the planet Cleave, eventually leading to Alana giving birth to Hazel and the story beginning.

This is where the similarities between Shakespeare and Vaughn dissipate. There is a bounty on Hazel’s head, so the new parents must find a new planet to call home. Along the way, they fight off soldiers from Wreath and Landfall, pick up a ghost babysitter, hijack a tree ship, and meet the unsuspecting grandparents. There’s a lie-detector cat, a jealous ex-fiancee, a pimp, and a eight-legged bounty hunter. What more could you want from a comic series?

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As  far as epic space opera/fantasy stories read, it’s more of a Joss Whedon style than Orson Scott Card. If you’re familiar with Marvel series The Runways, you might recognize the sarcasm and droll of writer Brian K. Vaughn. His writing style is sharp and familiar, like your wise-cracking roommate. It’s also worth mentioning that Vaughn wrote the wildly successful Y: The Last Man and Ex Machina comic book series as well as for the TV series Lost and the new adaption of Stephen King’s book Under the Dome. Fiona Staples has created beyond beautiful artwork. It’s soft but incredibly vivid at the same time. She has a style that is distinct from traditional comic art, bringing a whole new dimension to the genre.

“Saga feels like what might have hatched if Vaughan held a gun to the heads of George Lucas in his prime and George R.R. Martin right now and made them mate in Joss Whedon’s bed” –Jeff Jensen for Entertainment Weekly

Hear me out: it is an amazing series. It’s hilarious, beautiful, and truly one of a kind. The concept may take some time to settle in, and at times it sounds pretty out there but it has the respect of the comic book community. It landed on IGN’s 2012 “Comics We’re Thankful for This Year” and on the New York Times Graphic Novel Best Seller list.

If you are interested in catching up with the series, the first (issues 1-6) and second (7-12) volumes are up for grabs on amazon. It is currently on issue 14, but it’s easy to catch up by ordering older issues at your local comic book store.