This is a series in which the females are all formidable, amazing, powerful and tough, and the guys are sensitive, nurturing, and have “an appalling sense of moral relativism.” And that’s just one of the entertaining aspects of this remarkably creative and at times hilarious collection.
The story is told from the point of view of Hazel, who is born at the beginning of the series. Her parents, Marko and Alana, who are of two different and warring species, “meet cute” (Alana knocks Marko’s teeth out), fall in love, and then try to escape to another world so they can start a new life together.
Unfortunately, the prince of the Robot Empire wants to capture and kill them, because it wouldn’t be good for imperialism to show how different species can get along and even love each other, especially when their respective political regimes have decreed them enemies.
To that end, the tv-headed robot prince hires mercenaries, whose names all start with The, such as The Will. The Will, a tough but warm and fuzzy Bruce Willis kind of guy, has a cat-like sidekick that can instantly detect truth versus lies. Lying Cat is definitely one of my favorite characters!
Marko and Alana are about to be annihilated when they are saved by a spirit, a delightful girl named Izabel who not only helps them but also becomes Hazel’s nanny. Meanwhile, Marko’s parents show up – appalled at the cross-species union but delighted to have a granddaughter – and Marko’s ex-girlfriend is hot on his tail.
It’s just the funniest, most fun book ever, and the illustrations by Fiona Staples are incredible. Even more astounding, Vaughan gave her very little guidance. As he tells it in an interview:
…I’m an awful artist with no visual sense. So I’m able to sort of give Fiona things like, “The dad’s got horns, the mom’s got wings. Go please turn them into actual human beings with feelings and personality,” and she does that, so that is no small feat.”
Evaluation: This is a wonderful series, but be warned, it’s not for kids! There is violence, certainly, but it is cartoon-like, so that’s probably not a barrier. There is also, however, plenty of “graphic” sex, and a very funny episode involving a monster with giant testicles. There is so much great about these comics – especially the fantastic women warriors who crowd its pages, that I loved it! I especially love the addition of the tender and funny aspects of parenthood to the more usual comic book scenarios of beasts, war, and violence.
Apparently Vaughan was partially inspired to write Saga as a new parent himself, and it shows; so many of the scenes will strike new parents as very familiar, and very funny. The political satire elements are also terrific; very much in the vein of “Mad Magazine.” Just about everything is subverted in this very clever series. Can’t wait for more installments!
Published by Image Comics, Inc., Second Printing 2013