Science fiction and fantasy
Saga: Volume Three
by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
There are several sides to this story, and what's interesting is the nuance in most of the supposed villains. We see the softer side of mercenaries, as well as the more regrettable or ruthless things our good guys have done. As one character points out, it's "the stories with no sides" that worry those in power, and Saga is working out to be just that kind of story.
This volume features plenty of Brian K. Vaughan's characteristic humour, and it's especially self-deprecating when he's taking aim at writers and their lifestyles. There's also plenty of spaced-out weirdness, from flying sharks to animal people of all species. It may be a strange world, but Fiona Staples' artwork is a delight to look at. It's clear, clean and colourful, and she even manages to make amphibious frog people look attractive.
There's quite a lot of violence, as well as some graphic imagery, but it's not quite as in-your-face as Volume Two with its naked giant and blood-drenched cover. The graphic nature of this story seemed to me to be more to do with the story, and less put in there purely for its shock value, than in earlier books. But it could simply be that I'm more accustomed to Saga's style by the third volume.
This is an ongoing story, as the name suggests, so this volume doesn't conclude the story arc with a big showdown. Instead it deepens and complicates the plot, and makes the main characters seem more rounded. Even Gwendolyn, who is a bit of a trigger-happy hard nut, seems pretty engaging by the end. Saga: Volume Three is a subtle story that doesn't give up all of its goods on the first reading. I have a feeling this is one series with the potential to go on for many sequels. Long may it continue.
2nd June 2014
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The Complete Ballad Of Halo Jones by Alan Moore and Ian Gibson
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Review © Ros Jackson
Source: own copy
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