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Stuff for the Teen Age
"Saga" by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Imagine a world gone mad, where everyone seems to be after you behind a backdrop of pointless, unending war. All you want to do is protect your newborn child from danger, but it looms whatever just beyond every path you take.
This is the story of Alana and Marko, a Romeo & Juliet inspired couple from the warring planets of Landfall and Wreath, respectively. Alana meets Marko while guarding him on the prison planet Cleave, one of the many suffering worlds that the war has been "outsourced" to. Since a prolonged battle between neighboring worlds could adversely affect the orbit of the other, Landfall and Wreath's war has become the problem of other worlds in neighboring systems, forced to pick sides in a struggle they'd rather not be involved with.
This is not, however, a story of politics. It's a story of family. The story begins with Alana pregnant. She eventually gives birth to her child, a daughter she and Marko decide to name Hazel. Although an infant, Saga is aided by Hazel's reflective first person omniscient narration, giving us a vague foreboding tone of what is to come in the family's lives. While attempting to find a way off Cleave with Hazel in tow, Alana and Marko met a non-corporeal half-formed ghost named Izabel, who ends up permanently bonding with their daughter.
A bounty is placed on their heads. This is how we meet The Will, a potentially psychopathic anti-hero with a heart of gold. Competing with his former lover The Stalk, another freelance bounty hunter resembling a humanoid spider, he vows to avenge her when she is viciously murdered on Cleave. Her killer, and yet another individual in pursuit of Alana and Wreath, is Prince Robot IV. The Prince is Landfall royalty who, like all members of his race apparently, has a television for a head.
Readers will likely be drawn to Marko and Alana's refreshingly realistic relationship, which is fraught with understandable conflict as their pair literally run for their lives. Their bond serves to anchor the book and the birth of Hazel only cements their already formidable union. The Will never meets the fugitives, but his concurrent storyline, including his acquisition of the Lying Cat and visit to a brothel planet, serve as diversionary fare away from the intensive family drama.
Illustrated by Canadian artist Fiona Staples, the series is authored by American comics veteran and former Lost writer Brian K. Vaughan. This is Brian K. Vaughan's first creator owned work with Image Comics, having previously published Runaways with Marvel Comics, Y: The Last Man with Vertigo, and Ex Machina with Wildstorm/DC Comics. He also contributed a memorable arc about Faith in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 by Dark Horse Comics. Saga's second trade paperback has an expected release date of July 2013. The series is currently ongoing.