Science fiction and fantasy                                            

Saga: Volume Two

by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples


At the end of the first volume of Saga, the fugitive family were joined by the baby Hazel's grandparents. For these horned people from the planet Wreath, the winged forces of Landfall are the enemy, so they're not too happy about their son Marko marrying one of them. Marko and his mother leave to try and retrieve Izabel, their ghost babysitter, who Marko's mother banished to a nearby planetoid when she mistook the ghost for her son's captor. Meanwhile Alana, Hazel, and Hazel's grandfather Barr are left alone on their ship to get to know one another.

One of the great things about Saga is its contrasts. There are enormous giants, freakish mercenaries, robot-headed overlords, and hungry space creatures that can swallow spacecraft. But it's the little things that make this story fascinating: Alana's bumbling attempts at parenthood, Marko's memories of his upbringing, or the way they met in prison and bonded over a corny romance novel. It can be warm, funny, or touching, as often as it's a rip-roaring space adventure.

The mercenary known as The Will is after the family, and he's especially galvanised by the death of a colleague he was very close to. He's also determined to rescue a young slave girl who he met on previous adventures. Then Gwendolyn, Marko's former betrothed, comes into the picture. She wants to make Marko suffer, and she's prepared to join forces with a notorious mercenary to achieve her ends.

All of this takes place against the backdrop of an endless war. Hazel is a tiny scrap of a baby, but she symbolises an extremely controversial union. The personal is political, and vice versa, throughout this story, and that's one of its many charms.

As soon as I finished Saga: Volume Two I wanted to read it again and again. And again. The graphics are beautiful and the characters are charming. The only thing that lets it down is the gratuitousness of some of the images. It is very explicit; however, I don't think all of the sex, nudity, and violence is a bad thing just because it's there. The problem is that it frequently seems to be there to provide instant shocks or titillation, rather than to advance the story. But it's a story that doesn't need to do this, because it's already hitting the right buttons.

8th November 2013

Book Details

Year: 2013

Categories: Books

  Science fiction

  Not For The Squeamish  

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Review ©

Source: own copy

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