Brian K. Vaughan’s Return to Comics: Saga Issue 1 Review

Title: Saga
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Art by: Fiona Staples

A few years ago, you could hardly open up a comic-magazine or read a fanboy blog without seeing Brian K. Vaughan’s mentioned. The guy was a maverick writer. Everything he penned was immediately hailed as a must-read. To this day, his series Y: The Last Man remains near the top of my list of best comics ever. Then, one by one, his series ended… first Runaways, then Y: The Last Man, and lastly Ex Machina. For months I scouted in vain to find more new work by him on the shelves, but from what I read online, he’d switched gears to doing more television work. Brian K. Vaughan wrote 7 episodes of Lost and is currently working on an adaptation of the Stephen King novel Under the Dome for Showtime. That’s all fine and well, but a lot of people can write compelling scripts, but very few can plot comics as suspensefully as he can.

It wasn’t until long after I stopped looking that a new work popped up by Brian K. Vaughan: Saga. To say Saga went under the radar is an understatement. I run a comics blog and I hadn’t heard about it until yesterday.

Saga is a departure for Brian K. Vaughan. It’s a departure from Earth, for one thing, as it’s set around an interplanetary war between two planets in some far off corner of the galaxy. He has written about a politician who can fly, the last survivors of a biological apocalypse, and penned an entire graphic novel from the point of view of a group of lions, but space opera is a new one.

Saga begins by establishing that there are two planets caught up in a Hatfield and McCoy style feud, but on a larger scale. In a twist right out of Romeo and Juliet, a man from one planet falls in love with a woman from the other, an act that was unheard of previously. As soon as they’re found out, it takes little time for a xenophobic elite to place a hit on the doomed lovers. To complicate matters further, the woman becomes pregnant, and their child is the first of its kind.

So far in issue 1, the story feels familiar despite its otherworldliness, yet knowing Brian K. Vaughan, I’m sure this will be heading in an interesting direction. Once again, Brian K. Vaughan has produced a must-read comic with Saga, but he doesn’t deserve all of the credit. A large part of what made this issue such an exciting revelation was the artwork of Fiona Staples, who penciled, inked, and colored the entire issue. Her use of color in particular is impressive.

I should point out one thing: Saga is intended for mature readers. The violence isn’t anything too extreme, but there’s brief moments of sexuality and language that will throw off some readers. Basically, it’s the equivalent of a rated-R movie. Considering how just about every comic is PG-13, Saga is refreshingly edgy.

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Also, check out my book The Madness of Art: Short Stories

What was your opinion of Saga?

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