I’ve heard about Saga for a while now, and decided that now was as good a time as ever to pick them up. Wow, do I regret waiting this long to read them!
This review is going to be of the first three volumes released. This means that volumes two and three may contain spoilers pertaining to the book before them. I will have a general review, but will note when spoilers will begin as I break down each novel. I won’t go into super great detail to keep some things a surprise, but just be aware that reading the summaries of the separate novels may spoil the ends of others!
Warning: These graphic novels contain nudity, sex, violence, and gore. If you are sensitive to any of these, this may not be the series for you. Reader discretion is advised!
Saga is an ongoing graphic novel series revolving around Marko and Alana, two aliens who’s species are at war. Instead of hating each other, they have fallen in love and started a family. The story is narrated by Hazel, the baby we see born in the first five pages of the series. We are following different parts of their journeys in each of the novels.
Saga is definitely a very political book that discusses war and makes you consider both sides; it’s not really possible to say that one side is better than the other because frankly, both sides suck. The author definitely has opinions that are shared in here regarding issues in society today; just look at the cover of the first book to see what I mean!
There is a very distinct voice in these books. The author has a dry sense of humor, and there are definitely some incredibly dirty jokes and scenes, but if you have a similar sense of humor or don’t mind reading/seeing crass images or words, you will likely enjoy reading! It strikes a wonderful balance between politics and humor, which helps keep the novels from feeling too heavy, even when some incredibly sad or scary things are happening.
The art style is fantastic. I’m kind of picky about art looking good, and I just DIE at how beautiful some of the panels are in these novels. The faces are incredible and make me feel real emotion just by looking at them. Know that you will not be disappointed by at least looking through the novels!
Saga also has an incredibly diverse cast, and include people of color, a interracial relationship, LGBTQA+ representation, plus size representation, and more.
Now that I’ve written a general review about what Saga is like, let’s get into the breakdown of each novel, starting with number one! There will not be any review of each specific novel, just a quick breakdown of the major events that happen. My final thoughts will be marked with a bold phrase that says “Concluding thoughts”, which means there will be no more spoilers at that point! Please don’t read this section if you don’t want to be spoiled!
When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.
From bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan, Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults.
In book one, we are introduced to Marko and Alana, two opposing aliens who fall in love and have a child together. Throughout the novel, we see them traveling across the planet Cleave in an effort to escape the war and find a new life for both them and their newborn. We are also introduced to Isabel, a horror from the planet who will help Alana… for a price: she gets to join the family in their escape. We are also given the first hint of Gwendolyn, as well as meeting assassins The Mark and The Stalk, who are hired to destroy Alana and Marko. A final pursuer, Prince Robot IV, is introduced.
Even with this being an introductory novel, there is so much action packed into each chapter! You get a really good sense of the personalities of each character, as well as a little backstory on them and learning about the various species in the galaxy.
The smash-hit ongoing epic continues! Thanks to her star-crossed parents Marko and Alana, newborn baby Hazel has already survived lethal assassins, rampaging armies, and alien monstrosities, but in the cold vastness of outer space, the little girl encounters something truly frightening: her grandparents!
Volume two begins with Marko recounting his childhood and showing just who his parents are; the Horns we meet in the last few pages of Volume 1. We also follow the search for Isabel after Marko’s mother banishes her, we see some of Alana and Marko’s backstory (which I adore!), Gwendolyn appears, and we follow The Will and Prince Robot IV in their pursuit of the family. We also have our first named character death! One of many, I’m unfortunately sure.
My favorite scene in all three novels thus far is in this novel. We get to see a glimpse into Robot IV’s past, including a time he was nearly killed in battle. The medic who saved him was then instantly exploded in front of him due to a Horn poison gas spell. The part that truly sticks with me is in the moments right before death, when she looks at him and says “Wait, am I dying? Am I gonna ”
From the Hugo Award-winning duo of Brian K. Vaughan (The Private Eye, Y: The Last Man) and Fiona Staples (North 40, Red Sonja), Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the universe. Searching for their literary hero, new parents Marko and Alana travel to a cosmic lighthouse on the planet Quietus, while the couple’s multiple pursuers finally close in on their targets.
We’re introduced to our first gay couple! One of the soldiers who was attacked by Marko is explaining what happened to two men working for a tabloid in the opening scene. We get to follow The Will, Gwendolyn, and Sophie as they land on a paradise planet and try to repair their ship, but is the planet all that it seems to be? Alana, Marko, Hazel, Isabel, and Klara make it to Quietus and meet Oswald while they try to plan their future. Prince Robot IV is hot on their trail, which puts everyone in quite the pickle. Finally, Gwendolyn meets Alana and Hazel, with disastrous results.
I’m so in love with this story! It contains everything you could possibly need; thought provoking messages and humor that makes you laugh out loud. I wholly acknowledge that this series is not for everyone; if you’re sensitive to all sorts of adult content you probably wouldn’t like it at all! However, if you’re willing to give it a shot, you’ll find a beautiful story about a couple and their child just trying to find a safe place in the world.
I cannot wait to move on to the next three volumes and see where Marko, Alana, and Hazel go next!
Have you read Saga? What did you think of it?