Well hello there. I suppose you were expecting another comic review by Ravingnerd. I hate to break it to you, but I’m not Ravingnerd.
My name is…well I don’t have a cool pseudonym like Ravingnerd, so for now just call me the “Ghost Writer”. I will be your guide through this blog today, so please fasten your seat belts, make sure your tray backs are in a secure and upright position, and stow any cargo in the overhead compartments (not necessarily in that order).
If you haven’t heard of it already (shame on you), there is a new series under Image Comics called Saga, and it definitely lives up to it’s name. Today I have Chapter 7 in front of me to review, but first a quick (spoiler free) run down of what was in the first 6 Chapters:
There is a planet far off in space called Landfall which has been in a multiple-generation war with its only moon, Wreath for reasons including but not limited to the vast differences between the two races (Landfall is home to a technologically advanced race of winged humanoids, while Wreath is home to a spiritual, spell casting horned humanoid race). With decades of war comes a deep seeded hatred for your enemy. This didn’t stop a female Landfall warrior named Alana from falling in love with her Wreath Prisoner named Marko who was captured after conscientious objection on the battlefield (hippy).
Alana helps him escape and this cross species love blossoms and yields a baby girl. Neither of the two soldier’s chains of command are particularly enthused about the fact that they have gone AWOL, and are absolutely disgusted (or frightened?) by the fact that they would have a child together. Thus begins the cat and mouse game of the Landfall and Wreath leaders sending soldiers and bounty hunters after the young family’s heads. All the while, Alana and Marko are running and ready to do whatever it takes to get away from their home planet’s reach. This includes teaming up with a teenaged, dismembered specter who is a bit of a pain in the ass (she grows on you though), and using her help to acquire a shuttle to launch in.
That’s about all I’m willing to tell you without spoiling anything, so seriously buy it. This is the perfect jump on point as there is now a trade paper version of Chapters 1-6 available for $10 bucks at your friendly neighborhood comic book store. The story is written by Brian K. Vaughn who is now becoming one of my favorite writers after reading this along with Y: The Last Man.
Now for the latest installment into the series:
Chapter 7 picks up (after a brief hiatus from the creative team) with a flash back to the childhood of Marko where his parents use a spell in order to show him the battles that had been waged on the soil they were standing between Wreath and Landfall, which I feel really helps show how rooted the fighting is. After this brief childhood lesson, the issue jumps back to present day, where the same parents are meeting not only their granddaughter for the first time, but also there now daughter-in-law who is a Landfall-born soldier and a rather large surprise to them. Immediately after this debacle, Marko steps up to go after the specter who was banished by Marko’s parents during a slight misunderstanding *see Chapter 6, just buy it already* and his mother follows, leaving Hazel (the daughter) with her bickering mother and paternal grandfather. Here is what I liked:
1. The art is awe inspiring. Seriously, I know everyone always comments first on the art work in comic reviews, but without it, comics wouldn’t be comics. Fiona Staples does a great job with the art in this comic, but be aware that her art isn’t for the easily offended. The first chapter’s cover has Alana breastfeeding, just for starters.
2.The flashback is not only a good start up issue after that agonizing 2 month hiatus, but I feel it helps to establish how spiritually connected the people of Wreath are with each other and their planet (think Pandora from Avatar).
3. The story ends making you want more, but not feeling cheated.
Rating before: 8
Rating after: 7
While I understand the need for the hiatus, as BKV does not want to use replacement artists while the main artist rests, the break really set this chapter up to be good, not great. Think of the first bit back in class after a vacation. It takes a couple weeks to get back into the rhythm and really start getting some work done. That’s how I feel with this comic. If the hiatus is necessary however, I will take it due to the great potential to this comic.
Did not mean to make this such a long review, but in my defense it’s really seven in one, so sue me :). Those of you who have read Saga, let me know what you think, and those of you that haven’t let me know if this piques your interest at all.
Hasta la proxima,