Saga is what happens when Zoe and Wash from Firefly have a baby and have an entire series devoted to their domestic adventures. It is hard classify to Saga into any particular genre. It is based in a universe where a neverending war has two worlds, a planet and a moon, as mortal enemies. The reason behind the war is never really explained. The war is merely the backdrop of a Romeo & Juliet love story being narrated by the couple’s adult daughter.
Alana and Marko are opposing low level soldiers. Alana is tasked with guarding Marko and eventually falls marries him. The series opens with the birth of their daughter. They are a couple on the run, but still desire to put down roots and raise a family. They have bounty hunters, nosy reporters, and a very unusual prince on their tails. Still, the family dynamic remains the focus of the story.
While I think my Firefly comparison is pretty on point, creator Brian K. Vaughn has gone on record as saying that his work was inspired by Star Wars. He did not want to tell the tale of the noble people fighting the empire, but the everyday people who still have to live their lives despite a never-ending war happening around them.
Vaughn’s storytelling is just as appealing as it was in Y: The Last Man. He has a way of crafting original stories that will appeal to fan boys just as much as the casual comic reader. That said, the true success of the books lies in the artwork of Fiona Staples. The characters are all relatable despite being “alien.”
I am particularly impressed by the choice to have our earthly idea of race play a part in the story. While it would have been very easy and expected to have the characters occupy a homogenous race or color, Staples and Vaughn chose to feature two female leads who are women of color. That should not be the most interesting thing in a universe occupied by a giant robot prince and rocket trees. It is not, but it still provides an interesting discussion about the roles women of color play in the comic book genre.
I devoured the entire series in a weekend and I look forward to the further adventures of Alana and Marko.