Review – Saga

It has been sometime on this blog since I have talked about anything relating to comics, that is probably due to the fact that I have been lately binge reading fantasy and science fiction. Yet whilst I have not been reading as many comics as I tend to do, I have been reading some of them, kept myself updated with Marvel and DC and have been enjoying a comic that over the past few years has become one of my favourites of all time, Saga. Saga is an epic space opera/fantasy comic book series written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Fiona Staples. It depicts a husband and wife, Alana and Marko, from long-warring extra-terrestrial races, fleeing authorities from both sides of a galactic war as they struggle to care for their daughter, Hazel, who is born in the beginning of the series and who occasionally narrates the series as an unseen adult.

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Ever since I first picked up the first Saga issue, almost by accident, I have been enthralled by it. The art, because make no mistake the work done by Fiona Staples is art, is sublime. It is able to reflect the world the story is set in perfectly and able to portray the emotions of the characters perfectly. Some of the art seen in the numerous issues of Saga counts amongst my favourite seen in the media and every time a new issue comes out I like to take a moment to just take in the amazing art drawn.

The characters of Saga are complex and draw you in every issue. Despite their alien nature you are able to relate to them and whilst they are in some ways they are similar to other characters seen in both comics and science fiction they are also able to remain in many ways distinctive and unique which I believe is one of the reasons this works so well. They are relatable because in many ways they are familiar but they are also different enough to be intriguing and to grab your attention. All of the characters involved from Prince Robot, to Alana and Hazel, to the multitude of side characters that enrichen the story and make it incredibly fun to read are memorable and important.

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The greatest thing about Saga is without a doubt its storytelling. If I had to describe it, and I must say it is difficult to fully do so, I would say it is a mixture of Star Wars mixed with fantasy epics such as Lord of the Rings and A Song of Ice and Fire. Throughout the 42 issues we have experienced great emotional moments, fun moments, heart breaking issues and all in all an incredible comprehensive story. It is a story that touches on many issues that are relevant today in our culture such as gender, sexuality or ethnicity and it does so in an incredibly beautiful and respectful manner. It is also a great war comic book, showing us the dark side of wars, all of this based in a science fiction setting. The story has evolved and matured as the comic goes along yet it has not lost that essential aspect of fun and adventure that is so important in a space opera. Brian K. Vaughan has done a wonderful job in combining all of those aspects into a riveting story which is accentuated by the subtle yet delightful dialogue with which he gifts his characters.

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All said if you are not reading Saga you are definitely missing out on a great comic, a comic that I believe is redefining the comic book landscape especially in that genre. It is a smart, funny comic that captures with great characters and a comic with an amazing art that will stun you. Reading Saga is always a thrill and I am always excited when a new issue comes out. I 100% recommend this comic, even if you are not a fan of comics in general, you will probably enjoy Saga.

Whilst I eagerly wait for new issues I will be right here falling more and more in love every day with this comic.

 

Review – Descender

So today I have decided to talk about a comic book that I just recently discovered thanks to my friend Carol or Blondestorm (she has an awesome blog you should read: http://blondestorm.blogspot.com.es/) and has completely stolen my heart and captivated me. I am of course talking of the great series by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen, “Descender”. “Descender” tells the story of one young robot’s struggle to stay alive in a universe where all androids have been outlawed and bounty hunters lurk on every planet. It is a rip-roaring and heart-felt cosmic odyssey that pits humanity against machine, and world against world, to create a sprawling space opera similar in some ways to the fantastic “Saga” from Brian K. Vaughn but also very different in many ways.

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The art of “Descender” is beautiful and unique. It somehow manages to express perfectly the feelings of all the characters, even the robots, and that is a very difficult task to do. The use of colours, the palette the artists use is vibrant and makes the settings and the characters come alive. Every issue of this great comic is a work of art and I have loved and enjoyed every single panel of art.

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However what makes this comic book so great is the story and its characters. Even though the story is set in a universe very different to ours, a universe with intelligent robots and with different sentient species, the work of the authors to give us a compelling and relatable story is incredibly well done and throughout the whole comic you feel connected to the characters, you are hooked on the story and you worry about the fate of all those characters throughout every single issue. The story despite having robot and alien protagonist at the heart of it, is really a story about family and about finding your place in life and that is what makes the comic so good. Despite all the advanced technology, all the spaceships, all the paraphernalia, the characters are just trying to find their place, trying to find themselves and find their families. This makes it a great compelling story and in all honesty, an emotional ride that leaves you completely satisfied emotionally every issue, yet still wanting more.

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The characters of this comics are great, and I love the way that slowly we are getting to know the background of every single character, even the robot dog, which allows us to feel connected to them as we are able to understand them. Amongst the many great characters such as Jin Quon, a complex scientist characters who hides the key to the past of the robots, Telsa an alien who is trying to proof herself militarily both to her dad and to herself or Driller, a fun killer robot, there is one that stands out. Tim-21, the robot that drives the story and might hide within himself the key all the riddles they are facing, is an incredible character. His innocence, heart and courage are inspiring and you are able to discover alongside him this world and conflict that he finds himself in. I have rarely connected so emotionally to a character, I suffer with him and also understand him as well as rejoice in his few moments of joy.

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If you have not read Descender, I can’t recommend enough that you drop everything right now and go buy this excellent comic. It is a refreshing take on the space-opera trope, it is a great comic book, a great story and most importantly it has amazing characters. I for one, can’t wait for the next issue to come out and continue enjoying this amazing ride!

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