Art by: Fiona Staples
Colours by: Fiona Staples
Letters by: Fonografiks
Cover by: Fiona Staples
Published by: Image
Cover Price: $2.99 (USD)
I pre-ordered Saga at my local comic shop a few months ago, but my excitement for this series meant that I had to take the chance to read it early. However, having now read the first issue, I am having mixed feelings and worrying that Saga may have been too hyped.
This first issue is undoubtedly a good comic and forty plus pages of story for $2.99 is definitely very good value for money, but I was expecting a great comic. The first scene, which sees the birth of Marko and Alana’s child, encapsulates my uncertainties.
Though I haven’t experienced it first hand, it’s obvious that the birth of a child and becoming a parent is a very emotional time and Saga handles this well, especially the page where Marko holds out his newly born daughter with a tear rolling down his cheek (which is just one of the many great pages from Fiona Staples). But the dialogue for this sequence is strange, sometimes emotional, sometimes comical and sometimes sexual; it doesn’t quite work together. There a number of moments that feel like there is something missing or out of place, like the alligator butler (I know this seems like a weird point when it is out of context, but if you read the comic, it’ll make sense).
What this issue does best is build up the world of Saga while foreshadowing events that are to come in future issues. A lot of this is done through the narration, which comes from Marko’s and Alana’s baby. I liked this device as it feels different and is more interesting than standard caption boxes. While the warring factions not liking the relationship between one of each of its members has been done many times before, the way it is set-up here makes it captivating again.
Really, Fiona Staples is the star of this debut issue. Though the opening narration praises that which is created by two people, which Saga obviously is, it is Staples’s art that is the stronger of the two contributions. There is so much going on in this issue, from love and high emotions to outer space scenes and large monsters and Staples takes it all in her stride. There’s one double page spread in particular, with Marko and Alana looking over at the war they are trying to escape so that their child can be safe, that captures so much of the ambition and the heart of this series.
Though I’m not as convinced as I thought I would be Saga is still very good. My expectations were so high that my review may have suggested a lower score overall than I have given. Despite my doubts, this is still a well written and superbly drawn debut which will surely be another hit for Image.