Comic Books You Should Collect: Saga #1
This month, Dibbs is celebrating Comic Books You Should Collect! Every day, we are diving deeper into single issues that changed the game, or have been internalized in comic collecting history!
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A Whole New World
Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples struck world-building gold when they released issue #1 of Saga in 2012. The book's cross between intergalactic sci-fi and magic-drenched fantasy creates a world comic readers only dream of experiencing. Fans also appreciated the refreshing embrace of utter chaos and crudeness the book put you into immediately upon reading the first page. BKV doesn’t stray away from inappropriateness, but instead wields it as a weapon to subdue readers into relating to his bigger than life characters. You're supposed to feel uncomfortable at times because the characters are.
Now, more than ever, is the best time to dive into this instant classic. BKV and Staples recently brought the book back from a multi-year hiatus, so new readers have a time to go back and catch up before the ongoing series gets too intimidating.
Alana is having a baby. I don’t mean that she’s due to have a baby; I mean the first panel is her giving full-on birth to her baby. Her husband, Marko ignores her blood curdling screams and insists she’s never looked more beautiful. Their baby, Hazel, is born safe and sound but only for a moment. The family is surprised by two opposing forces who want them dead. The two brace their daughter and hold each other tight, but find they are the only ones that survived the crossfire.
Our narrator, Hazel, introduces us to an ongoing war between 2 planets Wreath and Landfall. No ones sure how the war started, but it’s gravitational pull has brought many other planets and races to pick sides. Alana is from Landfall and Marko is from Wreath. While Romeo and Juliet-like at first glance, their new family is in much worse danger.
We are introduced to Prince Robot IV, who's been tasked with hunting the defected Landfallian soldier, Alana. It’s revealed that she ran away with Marko, who was being held as a prisoner of war. The news of their offspring has reached their respected kingdoms and Prince Robot IV has been tasked with killing the couple as soon as possible.
We also meet The Will and his partner Lying Cat, who’ve been hired by the Wreath government to kill Alana and Marko, but not Hazel. He’s given a card with “unlimited funds”, but is warned that additional freelancers have been hired to kill the couple as well.
Needless to say the story only gets crazier from here!
This book has been a magnet for awards and accolades in the comic industry. It won 12 Eisners, 17 Harvey awards, and the first trade paperback won a Hugo Award for Best Graphic Novel. Critics applaud its complex portrayal of sexuality, ethnicity, societal roles, and for its commentary on violence and war. It even saw censorship from Apple and digital comic company, Comixology, for its depiction of explicit sexual acts. While these challenges were quickly reversed, it was included in the ALA’s list of ten most frequently challenged books of 2014.