Brian K. Vaughan’s Saga depicts a warring space world that consists of horned beings, winged creatures, and other outlandish entities. The main characters, Marko and Alana, certainly possess these alien-like qualities, yet readers can instantly distinguish their youth and attractiveness through facial structure. Furthermore, their neutral coloring allows for the characters to be ethnically ambiguous. Despite his horns, one could identify Marko with James Franco or Channing Tatum. Yes? No? Maybe?
Vaughan’s creation exhibits several unique traits, one of which involves the narrative voice belonging to the couple’s child, Hazel, who is speaking from a later time period (she is just a baby in the comic). Her insightful comments convey the wisdom of age but also her remaining youth. Her important role in the story highlights one of the piece’s major themes: parenthood. Vaughan spoke to this message in an interview with io9, a science fiction blog, and stated, “I thought that by setting our new parents’ story during a fantastic galactic war, we could maybe simulate the thrilling highs and lows of creation, whether that’s making babies or works of art or whatever.”
The author’s spark for imaginative creation applies both to the plotline as well as the visuals, which are illustrated by Fiona Staples. In the io9 interview, Staples discusses the immense freedom she feels in contributing to Saga, in which she can create spider-like villains with multiple eyes and anatomically correct computer-heads. Perhaps the most creative characters appear in Sextillion, a brothel of sorts. Interestingly, the sexual beings’ overt absurdity comes across as ultimately comical, which starkly contrasts the normalcy of the “Slave Girl,” an innocent six-year-old. This juxtaposition works to distinguish the gravity of the situation and presents a serious issue within the extraterrestrial fun of Landfall and Wreath. These images often appear in page-wide or horizontal panels, which alter based on the number of people in the scene.
Thus, Saga is the creative endeavor of Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples. It explores the themes of love and parenthood while utilizing absurd-looking aliens as its principle characters. Despite the graphic space porn, I would highly recommend this comic to other readers.