Now if this is not an event in the world of graphic novels, I don’t know what is. Brian K. Vaughan of Y: The Last Man and Ex Machina fame has teamed up with Fiona Staples of Mystery Society. The two have produced something that is pretty close to a perfect beginning for a graphic novel: Saga.
Saga is a science fiction adventure set in a future intergalactic world. It has been compared both to the classic Star Wars movies and Game of Thrones. And with good reason. Only two issues down, the series has already been able to capture moments not unlike the banter of Han Solo in A New Hope, the awe of the first sight of the AT-AT walkers on Hoth, the intrigue of the Lannisters and even the idiosyncrasies of the Targaryens. When we see the gleaming eyes of the Horrors of Cleave for the first time, what springs to mind immediately are the Rat Creatures from Bone. And the android prince with a TV set for a head? Pure gold, that propels the mind to classics like Leiji Matsumoto’s Galaxy Express.
Set against a Shakespearean love story of a star-crossed couple on the run, the story is imaginative to a degree I have never seen, and yet in something of the same way the original Star Wars was: with some scrutiny, you can start to see the influences that have driven Vaughan and Staples. But as with all great art, wearing your influences on your sleeve is not a detriment, but rather only adds to the pleasure. Talent borrows, genius steals.
All together, the first two issues of Saga have opened up a world that is so vibrant, so imaginative and so alive that I am not quite sure I have ever encountered something like this before. If you are in the least interested in science fiction, comics, or good stories in general, be sure to check it out. If you go digital, you can get the first issue straight away from Comixology.
Right now, the only downside I can think of for this series is that the next issues surely have a great deal to live up to. But if Vaughan and Staples can keep up with this pace, not unlike Vaughan has already proven he can with the epic storylines of Y and Ex Machina, this is setting out to be the new standard against which the future works of science fiction in comics will be judged.