I was a huge fan of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man series, so when I found out that Vaughan had a new series on the loose, I knew it was only a matter of time before I got my hands on it. Y: The Last Man gripped me from the very first issue. The story was intriguing on a scientific and sociological level and the protagonist really appealed to my love of smart-assery. I was looking forward to more of the same, so I’m a bit disappointed to say that Saga is essentially a love story. It is Romeo and Juliet in space. And I’m not sure how that’s going to work out.
The first volume of Saga (artwork by Fiona Staples, 2012) collects issues 1-6 and introduces us to our main characters. Alana is from Landfall and worked as a soldier. Marko is from Wreath and was a prisoner. Their two homelands (home planet and its moon?) are warring and love between the two species is forbidden. Sound familiar? What’s not ripped from the bard, however, is that our narrator is Hazel, the child Alana bears in our first scene, clad with tiny wings from her mother and miniature buds where her father’s horns will grow in. It wasn’t known whether the two species could even produce offspring, but Alana and Marko have shown everyone wrong and they are on the run for it.
It seems to me that this first volume is really just setting up what will happen in volumes to come. That may sound obvious, but when you think that readers had to stick with six issues before the story really started to take off, it’s surprising that it gained the following it did. Don’t get me wrong, there are some interesting beginnings here – the robot prince on a mission to hunt down the couple, the freelancers hired to take them out (one of whom is a giant half-woman/half-spider hybrid that is the stuff of nightmares), ghosts of war-ridden children who lead the way to a rocket forest, a planet whose prime offerings would suit the Marquis de Sade just fine… It’s all ripe for a good story, it’s just not there yet. What we have in this first collection is two lovers on the run with their forbidden child.
But, I have faith in Vaughan and I have faith in Saga that it will turn out to be much more than that. On that faith alone, I’ll keep reading. I just hope Vaughan doesn’t let me down.