Sometimes going into a read with high expectations can lead to tremendous disappointment. A few months ago, I was blown away by a graphic novel when I read Northlanders, and spent an entire evening reading the thing in one day. Since that time, I have sampled a few graphic novels, seeking to find more volumes to hook me onto other narrative series. I read the very first issue of Saga shortly after finishing Northlanders, and soon after picked up the Volume 1 trade paperback since it seemed like a series I would enjoy. So many people praised the series, and I had some good friends assure me that I would like Saga a lot. My expectations for the series couldn’t have been much higher prior to picking this back up.
Well, it certainly lived up to those lofty expectations.
I grabbed Saga off the shelf just yesterday, expecting to read the next issue and set it aside to accomplish other tasks. What I didn’t expect was to end up binging my way through the other five issues in that volume in a single sitting. Several times I told myself that I’d read the next one and then set it down, and each time I struggled to follow through with that plan. I was hooked, enjoying the ride through a wildly imaginative Sci-Fi tale.
Let’s start with the artwork. One of the fun aspects of Science Fiction comes from the imagining of new worlds, new races, and new ways presenting conflicts and the solutions to said conflicts. The world where these opening issues take place is remarkable. The alien creatures are varied, with the primary conflict brewing between two human-like yet non-human races. Of course, there’s a disclaimer for nudity, which appears far more often than I had anticipated in the volume, but by and large it isn’t being gratuitously forced upon the reader.
The story being told is magnificent. Those two warring races I mentioned? Yeah, our protagonists come from those two races, having fallen in love and, at the start of the volume, give birth to a child. Nothing like a forbidden love story to drive things forward, right? Yet there’s even more going on, that the reader is given hints about over the course of the first six issues: they are wanted, and not just because they are in love and deserting the war-embroiled planet. The stakes are high, as we watch them race to escape the planet while being pursued by bounty hunters, their own allies, and Prince Robot IV and his team. This pursuit is the heartbeat in those first six issues, driving things forward until you reach the conclusion of that first volume – an ending that made me want to immediately go out and pick up the second volume to see how it all continues.
And that in itself is enough review, right? I couldn’t stop myself from reading more, and now I’m compelled to continue as soon as I can into the next installment. I am excited to see where their journey takes them from here.