Saga, Compendium One, by Brian K. Vaughan

Saga, Compendium One by Brian K. Vaughan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It has been a very long time since I’ve had this much fun with comics! The story follows Alana and Marko, two former soldiers, now deserters from their opposing armies, who got married and went on to found a family. We see their daughter, Hazel, growing up on the run with her parents in a (mostly) hostile universe in which they encounter new friends and enemies alike.

And this is where Saga shines beyond any other comic I’ve ever encountered: Our fugitives meet a broad range of people who more often than not want to either capture or kill them. Unless there’s no other way, Alana, Marko…

Alana & Marko kissing, Marko holds Hazel

… and their very diverse rag tag group of friends…

Izabel says: If you find someone who can forgive all your bullshit… the least you can do is try to forgive them.

…and great sidekicks…

Lying cat calls out a liar

…will treat people with respect…

Petri & Izabel talk about Petri's 'identity'

…kindness and the kind of simple decency I wish all of us would apply…

Hazel & Petri talk about wishing to be 'normal'

There are certainly very adult topics and scenes but they’re very obviously not included to “disturb” or “provoke” but they’re sensible parts of the story. This might not be something you want your kids to see but it’s part of our adult lives so why exclude it?

The story deals with issues such as war, racism, and sexuality in a thoughtful and nuanced way. It never feels preachy or heavy-handed, but rather adds another layer of depth to an already complex narrative.

The world-building (or rather: universe-building!) in general is brilliant: Vaughan has created a rich and complex universe, filled with different species, cultures, and technologies. The attention to detail is impressive, and I found myself fully immersed in this fantastical world.

The characters are also incredibly well-developed. Alana and Marko are complex and flawed, but ultimately relatable and likeable. Their love story is at the heart of the narrative, but the supporting characters are just as important. From the ghost(ly) babysitter Izabel to the bounty hunter The Will, each character has their own distinct personality and backstory.

The artwork by Fiona Staples is stunning. Her style is unique and dynamic, and she brings Vaughan’s imaginative world to life with vivid colours and intricate details. The character designs are also impressive, with each species having their own distinct look and feel.

At times, the artwork feels slightly psychedelic, adding immensely to the overall enjoyment.

I only regret that I managed to get started on yet another unfinished series – and that cliffhanger at the end of “Compendium One” is just plain cruel!

If you have even the slightest interest in comics, graphical novels, epic space operas and/or science fiction, read this!

Five out of five stars! 🌈

Ceterum censeo Putin esse delendam

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