Brian K Vaughan's epic Saga continues, as does the awesomeness from the first volume!
Lovers who each come from opposite sides of two warring worlds, Alana and Marko have become the symbol for a possible union between the planet Landfall and the moon of Wreath. However, since the governments of both Landfall and Wreath have no interest in making peace with each other, they have declared Alana & Marco to be a threat to their ways of life, and have each dispatched hunters to murder Alana & Marco before their story can inspire others to seek out a peaceful union as well. Not interested in being enslaved by the politics of their respective worlds, Alana & Marco continue to escape their pursuers so they can raise their daughter Hazel in peace. But now, they face threats internally as well as externally. In addition to the ruthless bounty hunter known as The Will, and the chillingly methodical soldier Prince Robot IV, Alana and Marco find themselves pursued by even more obsessed hunters...Marco's parents! Horrified that Marco has "betrayed" their people, the misguided couple have found their son and are determined to convince Marco to abandon his new family in order to honor his old one? In a universe ravaged by war, can the love between two people still survive?
Since I've pretty much read almost everything Brian K Vaughan has ever written, you'd think he would have run out of ways to astonish me by now, but no, once again Mr. Vaughan (aided by the eye-popping visuals provided by artist Fiona Staples) hasmanaged to blow me away! The intrigue starts right away with the arrival of Marco's parents. The previous edition of "Saga"
focused more on how the battle between their people was impacting Marco and Alana, but now Vaughan adds even more gravitas to the horrors of war by showing not only how it affects individuals, but also how it can potentially destroy families as well. Marco's mother's hostility towards Alana paint a grim picture of how even the people closest to us can have their minds poisoned by prejudiced. And not content to simply use Marco's parents to tell ONE amazing story, Marco's father opens the door to an equally compelling subplot. Even more impressive is that while tackling such heavy themes, Vaughan still manages to inject enough levity to make the material as much fun as it is moving. Just as things start to feel a little too somber, someone (often Alana) will come up with an amusing remark that instantly lightens the mood...
One thing that amazed me about Saga's
first volume was how the supporting characters were just as interesting as Marco & Alana, and that hasn't changed this time around. The moral quandary that bounty hunter The Will found himself in previously is explored further, but this time he finds some unexpected help from Marco's bitter ex-fiance, Gwendolyn. Gwendolyn proves to be a perfect partner for The Will, as her intelligence and craftiness only enhances The Will's terrifying physical powers. Gwendolyn's former relationship with Marco adds a personal element to the duo's quest to capture the star-crossed lovers, and with her on board, The Will's journey proves to be every bit as mesmerizing as Marco & Alana's! In addition, some much needed laughs are provided by The Will's pet, a cat who's compelled to call out anyone who tells a lie...even when it's The Will himself!
But out of all these great characters, my favorite still remains Izabel, the disembodied spirit of a dead teenage girl who now acts as a kind of "spiritual babysitter" for Alana and Marko's baby, Hazel. Izabel's perkiness and attitude reminds me of another brilliant Brian K Vaughan character, Molly from [b:Runaways, Vol. 1: Pride and Joy|7389|Runaways, Vol. 1 Pride and Joy|Brian K. Vaughan|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1264516899s/7389.jpg|10219456]. Despite her rather frightening appearance and her sad history, Izabel remains a ray of sunshine in an often bleak world, with her spirit (no pun intended)
and good cheer making her a ghost who's far too lovable to be scary!
Now, despite my enthusiasm for everything I've talked about above, I still haven't even mention my favorite
part of Volume 2! That would be a self-contained chapter where another one of Alana & Marco's pursuers, Prince Robot IV, visits an author Alana admires in hopes that the writer may hold some clue as to where his fan may have fled to. On paper, this may sound like a rather dull pit-stop, as almost the entirety of the issue is dedicated to the Prince's conversation with author D Oswald Heist. However, their conversation proves to be one of the most compelling elements in this volume. The Prince and Heist engage in a rather weighty philosophical debate that covers many topics, including the value and true meaning of art, the importance of loyalty, fatherhood, and the price of war. While the Prince had displayed less personality than most of the other characters up until now, in this issue we learn much more about what truly drives him, and that knowledge transforms him into quite possibly the most dangerous threat yet to Alana and Marco! In addition, we learn more about the author whose work may or may not be indirectly responsible for Alana's willingness to break free from her own people...This is most certainly NOT Brian K Vaughan talking about "Saga"!DAVE'S FINAL JUDGMENT - THE DEFENSE
- Deep and enthralling story and world-building
- Main characters and secondary characters are equally captivating
- Extremely clever and often amusing dialogue
- Fascinating philosophical themes are explored
- Absolutely no filler or padding, Vaughan and Staples make every panel countTHE PROSECUTION
- Strong language and sexually explicit situations may turn off gentler readers
- Won't be nearly as satisfying unless you've read [b:Saga, Volume 1|15704307|Saga, Volume 1|Brian K. Vaughan|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1351259514s/15704307.jpg|19113524] first THE VERDICT
Just as brilliant and exciting as the first volume, this edition further cements Saga's potential to be one of the greatest graphic novel stories of all time!