The Saga series takes place in a world where two factions are fighting each other in a never-ending galactic war. Though the fight started on a world and its moon, the conflict has spread to many other worlds and drawn in other species all over the galaxy. When two soldiers from opposite sides fall in love, desert their respective armies, and have a baby, both sides try to kill the parents and kidnap the baby. Marko and Alana make some narrow escapes and try desperately to outrun their assassins.
Volume 1 is a little scattered and disorienting because it introduces people and places right and left. The artwork was just ok for me. It started out so-so, but did get better by the end. I just wish it had been a little less disjointed, but maybe that’s impossible with the author trying to introduce the main players and set the scene.
Volume 2 was an improvement with a more cohesive storyline. More characters with personal ties to Marko and Alana were introduced and that was a good move. It made me more invested in the story. Reading V2 got me really excited to see where the story was going to go and how the characters were going to grow.
Unfortunately, Volume 3 stalled a bit. I guess you could charitably say it was unpredictable, but it felt like the storyline got a bit jumbled. I will say that the artwork in this volume was truly stunning. Fiona Staples only seems to get better and better. Also, Vaughan employs a narrative device where the baby in the future as an adult adds little comments to enhance the story and it is VERY effective. Some of these comments are the funniest and most touching moments.
I didn’t enjoy Volume 4 as much because the story focuses on characters I care less about and the main characters go through a really depressing stage. I can only hope that the recently released Volume 5 perks up a bit.
On a random note, I wish Vaughan didn’t feel like he had to be edgy and throw in at least one slur per book. I’m not always against slurs in literature as it can be useful in character building, but I don’t think these instances qualified. It seemed unnecessary to the story or characterizations. Along those lines, the funniest parts of these graphic novels are situational, but when Vaughan tries to make the characters edgy and irreverent, their jokes fall flat for me. It’s all just trying a bit too hard and it’s off putting. And this is coming from one of the biggest pottymouths you could ever meet. Still, these are worth a read if you borrow them from the library or a friend. Not sure I could rec them if you had to put down money for them.