If you’re a comic book reader, I shouldn’t have to tell you that you should be reading Saga. But if you’re like me, collecting single issues of comics can get pricey, and it can be difficult to track down back issues if you start reading long after a comic’s debut. That’s why I’ve been reading Saga in trades, and recently picked up the 4th volume of this incredible series.
If you’re reading this review as a non-comic reader wondering what all the fuss is about, it’s about this: a scifi romance space opera of epic proportions. Imagine Star Wars meets Romeo and Juliet, but better. The story that Vaughan and Staples have created is one in which half a dozen plot lines twist and converge. Somehow each is fully formed and coherent, and contributes to the primary arc: the romance between Alana and Marko, members of warring species trying to survive raising their child. Saga is populated with compelling and creative characters; even those that are seemingly trivial are fully formed and avoid falling into old tropes. Staples’ character design is breathtaking and original, and her beautiful artwork fully realizes these individuals in Vaughan’s world.
Without spoiling too much, book four begins with Alana and Marko safely (for now) settled on a neutral world. With no immediate threat, they try to adjust to a somewhat normal life, but despite the battles they have fought together thus far, can’t seem to settle their own disputes. In other news, serious shit is going down in the Robot Kingdom.
Overall, the ambiguous and arbitrary nature of morality seems to be a common theme as even the protagonists are not clearly defined heroes, and even the most apparently villainous characters are constantly changing sides.
If you’re new to comics, Saga is an excellent place to get started. As a relatively new series it’s easy to break into, and all four volumes are available on Amazon. If you get through those and just can’t wait to continue the story, you can buy individual issues on Comixology or your local comic shop.