Graphic Novel Review: ‘Saga Vol. 2’ by Brian K Vaughan & Fiona Staples

Saga, Volume 2Saga, Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Now that we’ve got the basic setting of intergalactic criminals wanted for the crime of looove out of the way (okay I’m sorry I couldn’t resist, I swear it’s more like Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ than a bad ’80s song), it’s time to learn a bit more about the main characters.

Something about the way this is all going makes me want to speculate lots and lots, so fair warning. Right now it is a bit of a conventional-plus-a-side-dose-of-mindblowing-visuals adventure story, but just because it’s conventional in the sense of ‘oh okay we are going the planet hopping’ doesn’t mean I don’t need to know what happens next.

Yes, I said need. I’m currently stalking the Image Comics site to see if I can preorder the next volume somehow. The issues are short. I wish they were a bit longer—I hear tell 33 pages is industry standard and I counted 22 pages in a couple of the chapters—but I’m guessing the color art and all makes that a little prohibitive, and I’m not saying no to the pretty colors.

Since it’s Marko’s parents who are on the ship, guess whose past we get a little more info about? I suspect we’re going to keep getting more Marko’s past (and The Will/Stalk), if there is more, because Alana simply doesn’t have as much going on, in terms of a not-boring-whitebread past. Based on what we do see—and here you get a little more of the narrator’s pre-origin story—Alana doesn’t really have hidden depths. But does she need to?

The main characters continue to be the people I’m least into. Not because they’re one-dimensional cutouts or anything, but because they’re just enough much more archetypal plot-movers than everyone else that they don’t get the room to be as…interesting, for want of a better word, as the rest of the cast. Everyone delivers appropriate quantities of intentionally-or-otherwise one-liners, so their dialogue isn’t bland or anything, but I still feel like they’re fitting roles carved out for them by the story more strongly than anyone else.

Meanwhile, the side plots continue to develop, and I wish I’d come onto this series a bit late so I could sit back with a bowl of popcorn and munch my way through the presumably hilarious explosions. Marko’s mother vs. Prince Robot IV, anyone? I want that.

In the first volume, I made the idle wish that there would be more male nudity to offset the female (come on, porn planet! You’re in the future, surely you keep perfect 50/50 ratios to appease the Tumblrverse!) and I’ve now had reason to regret that. To be clear: there is sex, there are breasts and penises, and while it’s certainly not medical textbook levels of clinical, it’s also not porn. Well, except for…you’ll see.

As a counter to the unwanted monster penis, there was also a bit involving someone I wanted to see again. Here’s hoping that character hijacks a whole issue at some point.

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