Reviews

Comic Review – Saga #41

  • Story: Brian K. Vaughan
  • Art: Fiona Staples
  • Letters & Design: Fonografiks
  • Publisher:  Image Comics
  • Release Date: January 4th, 2017

 

 

 

The mastermind behind Saga

SAGA #41 Cover by Fiona Staples
SAGA #41 Cover by Fiona Staples

The name Brian K. Vaughan has been for some time now a synonym of modern comic book storytelling presently likened to Frank Miller and Alan Moore. He has earned several awards for his work in Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina, and more recently Saga, a universe that, in his own words, he started to shape and escape to as a child, when he was too bored to do any math in class.  

Saga is a space opera that follows soldiers Alana and Marko fighting an unending war in opposite trenches. Alana comes from Landfall – a rich nation of winged people – and Marko is from the slave moon Wreath – a nation of horned, magic beings. The two of them meet for the first time when Marko is made a prisoner of war in planet Cleave and Alana is assigned to guard him and it takes them only twelve hours to fall in love and run away together.

Chapter #1 begins with Alana giving birth to Hazel, our narrator, who tells the story of her parents and her own childhood adventures from a concealed future. The event of her birth is seen by both Moonies and Landfallians as a threat to the principle of the war, and the family is thus forced to be on the run to avoid mercenaries, assassins, and armies.

Characters are human, all too human

Saga is packed with unquestionably diverse, engaging characters who happen to act so human we might not think of them any other way.  They bicker, make bad choices, hurt one another,  have desires, addictions, and fears. They are flawed, vicious and depraved, but can also often be ethical and decent. We bear witness to their matureness and growth and it is nothing but graceful to watch their experiences and internal conflicts turn them into better, more complex beings.

 

Saga #41 Synopsis 

Warning: Spoilers ahead

Saga is currently on its seventh arc, chapter 41 being second to last to the end. Issue #41 was out with a week’s delay due to a printer error and hit shelves last Wednesday.

Thanks to Fiona Staples, this book never fails to deliver stunning graphics with plenty of depth, texture, and dramatic lighting. Staples can communicate emotions through character’s faces so effectively we wouldn’t miss the speech bubbles and captions if they weren’t there. Issue #41 brings once again lots of her character work excellence which made the meeting of former Bounty Hunter The Will, known now as Billy plainly, and Sophia, the girl he saved from sexual slavery issues ago especially emotional.

On the other side, the only trace of the everyday sexual frankness of the book this time, though, lied on Sir Robot IV’s suicide attempt while high on Fadeaway, embarrassing himself by ‘broadcasting’ his sexual fantasies with Alana. Habitual violence is present and continues to shape Hazel’s understanding of her world.

In this issue we see everyone doing something they are not exactly comfortable with but having to do it anyway, for survival reasons. Part of the beauty of Saga resides on this perpetual deconstruction of its characters and their inclinations to, later on, bring them back together as stronger, improved creatures.

 

Final note

Saga has been described as Star Wars meets Game of Thrones meets Romeo and Juliet meets Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care meets Firefly – sounds at least intriguing, doesn’t it? What’s more, it has been established as practically unfilmable because of its R-rated content and how costly it would be to bring the universe into life, which means you’re really gonna have to read it. If you haven’t started Saga yet, go do it. We’ve had my colleague Siobhan Dempsey discuss the importance of reading challenges this week, why not set you a comics reading goal for 2017! 


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About the author

Kenia Santos

Sci-Fi geek. Book nerd. Art enthusiast. Comics dork. Board game buff. Crooked poet. Full time thinker. Weekend photographer. EFL teacher. Free spirit. Friendly soul. Fat kid.

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