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Timeless Appeal
May 28, 2006



First three volumes are out as well as issue 19! Pick up Issue 20 on June 25th

Saga is an ongoing comic book by Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, Pride of Baghdad, Runaways) and Fiona Staples. It is wonderful! If you liked Y: The Last Man then I cannot fathom you not enjoying this book.



The Premise
Saga takes place in a vast part of the universe very far and different yet often similar to our own. It mostly revolves around the planet of Landfall and its moon Wreath which have been locked in conflict for a very long time. Understanding that neither could really destroy the other without severely damaging both worlds, Landfall and Wreath decided to co-exist in peace, but just spread their war throughout the Universe, dragging other planets and species into their conflict.

Then one of the winged ladies of Landfall and the horned magic-using fellas of Wreath fall in love, bang, and have a baby which was not even thought possible. The couple tries to escape the wrath of their people who do not want their love affair to get out.



Language and Anatopisms
One of the defining characteristics of Saga is that characters speak like average English-speakers. There are also no sci/fi substitute terms. There are schools buses, babysitters, and people complaining about not having enough bars on their mobile devices. It can be a bit jarring, but just roll with it.

Similarly, there are a lot of visual anatopisms. A toilet does not look like a space toilet. A romance novel which plays a huge role in the book looks like it was bought from Target. TVs even have composite wires just like our own. Some characters dress like they belong in Star Wars while some dress like there was a sale at Old Navy. At the same time, the comic can present really high concept worlds, characters, and inventions. The main characters fly around in a tree, and one of their main pursuers owns a cat who can always tell when people are lying.

Our Cast of Characters...


Alana
Alana the more pragmatic of the book's leading couple. She really just wants to get her daughter to a safe place. Most people underestimate her, and the book strikes a good balance of her not being this particularly amazing person while still being brave and compelling.


Marko
Marko is a lot more idealistic than Alana as he strives to be as pacifistic as possible. He's definitely the less straight forward of the two parents with more of his past revealed as the comic goes on.


Hazel
Hazel is the baby that most people did not think was actually possible. She also serves as the story's narrator, and while we don't know much about who she is in the future, she does get across a good deal of character in her narration. Spoiling it because it's such a great reveal in the first issue.


Izabel
The universe's best babysitter!


The Will
A freelancer sent to kill Marko and Alana on behalf of Wreath, The Will finds himself in some unexpected situations with past loves and his conscience often chasing after him. He also has a really cool cat.


Prince Robot IV
A royal whose people seem to have one of the closest relationships to Landfall, Prince Robot has been tasked with killing Marko and Alana. He doesn't really care about the assignment, and his main goal is just to get home to bang his robot-wife.

And even more wonderful characters who I'd love to tell you about, but you'd be better off discovering how a drunk cyclops, a six year old girl, and two amphibious journalists make this the best monthly comic on the market by yourself.

Purchasing the Comic
There are three volumes currently out. Get them: 1 2 3

Buy these books and please come back to this thread to talk about it! Beware spoilers from this point on!

Timeless Appeal fucked around with this message at Jun 7, 2014 around 15:56

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Facepalm Ranger
Jan 17, 2012

Ugh, back in my day Dinosaurs were good enough to impress the kids.


I just finished reading volume two. It's pretty good so far and fits well with Vaughn's other works, in fact I'm going back through Ex Machina in the duration of volume 3 to get released.

My favorite part so far was when Lying Cat got sucked out in to space. I was so worried for her!!.

I think I'm enjoying Alana's character most just because she's not particularly likable and thus has good depth and thus is likable.

It's gonna be a good ride, hopefully to volume 10 (like Vaughn's other work).

Cheston
Jul 17, 2012

(he's got a good thing going)


Saga has the best opening and closing pages I've seen in comics.

Please, keep reading.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

Proudly representing vanilla Legends since 1994


Timeless Appeal posted:

The Premise
Saga takes place in a vast part of the universe very far and different yet often similar to our own. It mostly revolves around the planet of Landfall and its moon Wreath which have been locked in conflict for a very long time. Understanding that neither could really destroy the other without severely damaging both worlds, Landfall and Wreath decided to co-exist in peace, but just spread their way throughout the Universe, dragging other planets and species into their conflict.

That's not exactly accurate. Landfall and Wreath are not co-existing in peace at all; they're just fighting their war on other planets because, as you say, they can't destroy each other's homes without consequence.

Also, the setting may not be so different or distant as you think. The people of Landfall and Wreath bear strong similarities to the Seelie and Unseelie Courts of Faerie, and it's possible that Landfall may in fact be Earth.

Thanks for the thread anyway. It's a good book and more people should read it.

Timeless Appeal
May 28, 2006



By peace, I just mean that neither is attacking the actual homeworlds which are in spitting distance of one another.

The Court of Fairies stuff is interesting though!

Waterhaul
Nov 5, 2005


to fight off the bad guy




The best thing about Saga is that it's so refreshing.

In comparison to a lot of books it's able to be bounce between funny, gross and touching without ever feeling all over place, every issue has something extremely imaginative and it's able to deal with sex without being insulting or exploitative.

That and Fiona Staples absolutely kills it with every issue.

Endless Mike
Aug 13, 2003

He's AWESOME!


I love Saga and I'm not buying trades since this is something that deserves hardcovers. Digital will do until then.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

Proudly representing vanilla Legends since 1994


Endless Mike posted:

I love Saga and I'm not buying trades since this is something that deserves hardcovers. Digital will do until then.

So you haven't read issue 12, then?

Timeless Appeal
May 28, 2006



Endless Mike posted:

I love Saga and I'm not buying trades since this is something that deserves hardcovers. Digital will do until then.
I really like having the trades since it's been really great to share this comic with other people. I haven't had a book that I could so confidently hand over to people since Scott Pilgrim.

Timeless Appeal fucked around with this message at Dec 6, 2013 around 13:42

Endless Mike
Aug 13, 2003

He's AWESOME!


Jedit posted:

So you haven't read issue 12, then?

I did. Did I miss something? (It's possible.)

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

Proudly representing vanilla Legends since 1994


Endless Mike posted:

I did. Did I miss something? (It's possible.)

The gratuitous and much-complained about gay porn on the first two pages that led to the issue being refused release on Comixology.

onefish
Jan 15, 2004



Great series, nice OP.

I tried to hold off on reading this until the full series was done, because I often have had trouble keeping up with monthlies, but eventually I heard too much praise and it looked too cool, so I started it, and now I'm done through 12.

SO GOOD. I really, really love Fiona Staples' art, and the delightful weirdness of the world. Story is engaging, but I'm having enough fun seeing cool things on each new panel that I almost feel it would be worth paying for even if I, like, couldn't read English.

But the characters ARE really great, too. I probably am most intrigued by side characters (Izabel, The Will & Lying Cat, Special Agent Gale as a total jerk...), but Alana & Marko aren't bad, either.

onefish fucked around with this message at Jun 27, 2013 around 03:10

Revol
Jul 31, 2003

EHCIARF EMERC...
EHCIARF EMERC...


Jedit posted:

The gratuitous and much-complained about gay porn on the first two pages that led to the issue being refused release on Comixology.

Is it across all Comixology? I thought it was just the iOS app since Apple doesn't allow sex and porn and stuff.

Shitshow
Jul 25, 2007

We still have not found a machine that can measure the intensity of love. We would all buy it.

Jedit posted:

The gratuitous and much-complained about gay porn on the first two pages that led to the issue being refused release on Comixology.

I'm pretty sure the issue was posted on comixology within a day or two of release.

edit:

Revol posted:

Is it across all Comixology? I thought it was just the iOS app since Apple doesn't allow sex and porn and stuff.

It was self-censorship on comixology's part, as they thought they were in violation of Apple's terms. When they discovered they weren't in violation, they posted the issue.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

Proudly representing vanilla Legends since 1994


onefish posted:

I'm having enough fun seeing cool things on each new panel that I almost feel it would be worth paying for even if I, like, couldn't read English.

Here's something fun for you, then: the Freelancers all have names that are both a noun and a verb.

Endless Mike
Aug 13, 2003

He's AWESOME!


Revol posted:

Is it across all Comixology? I thought it was just the iOS app since Apple doesn't allow sex and porn and stuff.
It was only on iOS and only when buying directly on iOS devices and was added within a day or so after Apple said they had nothing to do with it being censored. You could always buy it on the website and download it to an iOS device.

onefish
Jan 15, 2004



Jedit posted:

Here's something fun for you, then: the Freelancers all have names that are both a noun and a verb.

Ha! That is pretty great. Yeah, that was another fun thing, "The" as a title. Totally want to know lots more about Freelancers. But get that they should have mystery to them as well.

Which reminds me, the first introduction of The Stalk was such an amazing comics page.

RandallODim
Dec 30, 2010

He presumably spends
his time traveling the world, annihilating any rapper foolish enough to challenge him


Saga is just so great. I've read it in trades just recently, and I don't know how I'm going to cope with having only read an issue at a time when it returns, because I have just torn through the trades. Having a thread to discuss them in will at least assuage some of the pain though.

Definitely one of my favorite aspects of the book is that all of the 'lead' characters (Marko, Alana, The Will, Robot IV) have some good qualities, even if they're not all especially nice people.

Also Lying Cat is the best and I was incredibly distraught when she got sucked into space.

One thing I'm wondering about : Will we get to see The Will put on his hood? Because it looks like it would look so silly and I want to see that.

Consummate Professional
Sep 1, 2006

did you know that even with seat belts
pople die all the time in car crashes? i
thought that was interesting


Saga is great and I'm always trying to get people into it. I got to meet Fiona Staples at Denver comic con a few weeks ago and she's extremely nice. I managed to get all my singles signed too!

CaptainApathyUK
Sep 6, 2010



God I love Saga, especially the little Seal dude on Quietus. Look at him in his little boots and waders. Cute as poo poo!

Has there been any explanation for the images on the Robots' screens yet? Have I missed something in that regard?

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

Proudly representing vanilla Legends since 1994


CaptainApathyUK posted:

Has there been any explanation for the images on the Robots' screens yet? Have I missed something in that regard?

They only seem to appear when something triggers a subconscious reaction, and represent that reaction.

Chairman Capone
Dec 17, 2008



Saga is awesome. I have to be honest and say I'm not quite as hooked on it as I was with Y: The Last Man, but it's still a must-read for me and probably the best comic currently printing.

Also I wrote a letter to Vaughan and it was the chosen reply for...I want to say issue 7 or 8, so I'm now the proud owner of two signed variant covers, a Joker card, some Jehovah's Witness thing BKV got handed, and his 2012 Comic Book Legal Defense Fund card. That was pretty

KDW
Dec 24, 2004
my title text

CaptainApathyUK posted:

Has there been any explanation for the images on the Robots' screens yet? Have I missed something in that regard?

I thought the most revealing use of it so far was when Prince Robot IV shot The Stalk. A baby rattle flashed up on his screen when he did it. It was an unstable and rash thing to do, but that one image helped make his action very understandable--she was "reaching for something," which turned out to be her phone, and his sudden flash of concern for his unborn child led him to make the decision to keep himself safe at all costs in order to keep his baby safe at all costs. We see the same idea echoed when Marko draws his sword to defend Alana and Hazel. Those two situations and the way each character handled the aftermath (Prince Robot IV immediately moves to cover it up, Marko takes steps to keep it from happening again) is a really quick and well-done way to compare and contrast those two characters.

I think it's a fascinating narrative device--rather than give him an overblown thought bubble that presents his split-second decision in rational terms, you get an image, which is much more in line with the way those intuitive subconscious leaps happen.

Jedit posted:

They only seem to appear when something triggers a subconscious reaction, and represent that reaction.

Not quite--he's able to switch it on and off, and seems aware of what it's showing. He also uses it to show a picture of another character's face when interrogating a prisoner, in an intentional "have you seen this guy" kind of way. Seems to serve multiple functions.

No idea what was going on in the opening panels of issue 12. My best guess is maybe it's another Marko parallel, a "tell him I love him" kind of thing like Marko and Gwendolyn, like maybe he's really gay and his entire life is devoted to duty, whether he's at home or in the field--producing an heir for the royal family rather than being who he is. I'd love a better explanation though.

KDW fucked around with this message at Jul 31, 2013 around 19:36

LordPants
Mar 5, 2011

Four more years boys, four more years.


I just assumed that he'd been knocked silly, and that's why it came (no pun intended) up on his screen, instead of say spinning stars or something. Which is echoed by the cover having him lying apparently dead with a test pattern on his screen.

Coolness Averted
Feb 20, 2007

Stole? Made up? What's the Difference?

LordPants posted:

I just assumed that he'd been knocked silly, and that's why it came (no pun intended) up on his screen, instead of say spinning stars or something. Which is echoed by the cover having him lying apparently dead with a test pattern on his screen.

Yeah I took it to mean the same, or a case of desperate profanity in visual form, like a soldier muttering "we're hosed you motherfuckin' cocksocker, this is bullshit ..." as he bleeds out.

For those on the fence because of how cliche and generic the plot sounds, give it a shot. I was put off by the most basic summary making it sound generic as hell "Two soldiers from a world of magic and a world of technology at war with each other fall in love, then run off to raise the baby their homelands don't want anyone to know about," but within the first issues it's made very clear it's not quite going where you think it would, and written by an author with respect for his audience.

The characters all have surprising depth, when they could've very easily been written as one note villains or heroes, they instead feel like real people, with dreams and flaws. It does strike me as all ending in tears though. Too much of the reoccurring theme is the consequences of violence and collateral damage spiraling out of control that I'm sure we're going to have plenty more heartbreaking scenes.

SALT CURES HAM
Jan 3, 2011
Probation
Can't post for 29 hours!


So I just burned through the trades, and am I the only person who really doesn't find Marko and Alana that interesting? I mean, in any other comic they'd be great, but they're just massively outshined by the Will, Izabel, Prince Robot, hell even The Stalk is more interesting.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

Proudly representing vanilla Legends since 1994


WickedIcon posted:

So I just burned through the trades, and am I the only person who really doesn't find Marko and Alana that interesting? I mean, in any other comic they'd be great, but they're just massively outshined by the Will, Izabel, Prince Robot, hell even The Stalk is more interesting.

Lying.

I do see your point, but consider who and what they are. Marko and Alana aren't anyone special. The one unique thing about them is that they've had a half-breed child who has survived more than a few days after birth - but it's Hazel who's important, not them. They're just rank and file soldiers on opposite sides of a war who found out that the enemy aren't the monsters of propaganda, then ended up playing Romeo and Juliet because Alana had read too many bad novels and fell in love with the idea of falling in love.

In short: Alana and Marko are fantastically well-portrayed because they're not interesting.

Alhazred
Feb 16, 2011

Just bring your ass to where they got me
So you can feel the hand of the dead body

Jedit posted:

then ended up playing Romeo and Juliet because Alana had read too many bad novels and fell in love with the idea of falling in love.


A Night Time Smoke is a great novel

SALT CURES HAM
Jan 3, 2011
Probation
Can't post for 29 hours!


Jedit posted:

Lying.

I do see your point, but consider who and what they are. Marko and Alana aren't anyone special. The one unique thing about them is that they've had a half-breed child who has survived more than a few days after birth - but it's Hazel who's important, not them. They're just rank and file soldiers on opposite sides of a war who found out that the enemy aren't the monsters of propaganda, then ended up playing Romeo and Juliet because Alana had read too many bad novels and fell in love with the idea of falling in love.

In short: Alana and Marko are fantastically well-portrayed because they're not interesting.

Yeah, I agree that they're incredibly well-written. I just find them a lot less compelling than everyone else in the comic regardless of how well they're portrayed, which seems like a bit of an issue given that they're ostensibly the protagonists.

I suppose we are only 12 issues in, though.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

Proudly representing vanilla Legends since 1994


WickedIcon posted:

Yeah, I agree that they're incredibly well-written. I just find them a lot less compelling than everyone else in the comic regardless of how well they're portrayed, which seems like a bit of an issue given that they're ostensibly the protagonists.

I suppose we are only 12 issues in, though.

Sometimes the story doesn't happen to the central characters, it happens around them. For example: the only characters in all six Star Wars movies are R2-D2 and C-3PO. Despite often being at the centre of the action or involved in it, neither of them is the protagonist at any point.

Coolness Averted
Feb 20, 2007

Stole? Made up? What's the Difference?

I actually like Alana and Marko. I'd say part of why the other characters seem so interesting is because the story has to sell you on smaller characters and their limited screen time pretty quickly. You're gonna relate to the couple, they don't need to be nuanced right out the gate to have your sympathy in the same way the bounty hunter who solves everything with ultra-violence and self-centered blue-blood need to be.

Jedit posted:

Lying.

I do see your point, but consider who and what they are. Marko and Alana aren't anyone special. The one unique thing about them is that they've had a half-breed child who has survived more than a few days after birth - but it's Hazel who's important, not them. They're just rank and file soldiers on opposite sides of a war who found out that the enemy aren't the monsters of propaganda, then ended up playing Romeo and Juliet because Alana had read too many bad novels and fell in love with the idea of falling in love.

In short: Alana and Marko are fantastically well-portrayed because they're not interesting.
But I am gonna disagree about one of your points here. That trashy novel she loves isn't because she loved the idea of being in love but of normalcy.
I'd say Marko and Alana have legitimately fallen in love not in an attempt to emulate the book, the book is just what got things started as a conversation point since both realized the subversive "The alien doesn't have to be your enemy" message of the author.
I'm just nitpicking about that because as you've said the pair are very well portrayed and refreshingly have steered clear of the cliche this story could've gone with.

Timeless Appeal
May 28, 2006



I agree. I think the depiction of their romance really hits the right midway point between mature and earnest. I really related to Alana just talking about how beautiful she finds Marko. She obviously gets that he can be an idiot sometimes, but it's interesting that I rarely see fictional characters in love talk about just how in awe they are that this other person is in their life without it sounding creepy and/or naive. I will say that Alana and Marko are definitely still in the honeymoon portion of their relationship which makes them having a baby and committed to each other an interesting dynamic, but I don't buy them being in love for the sake of being in love.

EDIT: Also, new issue tomorrow

The_Other
Dec 28, 2012


I just got the first two trades a few weeks ago after reading the copies we had at my local library. One of the things I really like about this series is how it's able to give the feel of an entire developed universe without a lot of narrative explanation (in other words, Vaughan and Staples show, not just tell.)

Rabbit
Sep 21, 2004


Jedit posted:

The gratuitous and much-complained about gay porn on the first two pages that led to the issue being refused release on Comixology.

Thank you so much for pointing this out.
I didn't notice it when I first read it and laughed my head off when I saw it.

tvb
Dec 22, 2004

We don't understand Chinese, dude!

Another good issue for fans of The Will (like me). What's best about his storylines is that they've made him such a great character, but as Vaughan pointed out in an interview, you have to balance that likability with the conceit that you can never fully root for him, because his job is ostensibly to kill or capture our protagonists. (Though it seems increasingly likely that if it came down to it, he would let them go and settle for avenging The Stalk.)

Coolness Averted
Feb 20, 2007

Stole? Made up? What's the Difference?

tvb posted:

Another good issue for fans of The Will (like me). What's best about his storylines is that they've made him such a great character, but as Vaughan pointed out in an interview, you have to balance that likability with the conceit that you can never fully root for him, because his job is ostensibly to kill or capture our protagonists. (Though it seems increasingly likely that if it came down to it, he would let them go and settle for avenging The Stalk.)

He is quite broken and prone to violence, so I wouldn't be surprised if we get something more alienating soon. I don't think he's going to just get his revenge then ride off into the sunset. He's now got a reason to hate his prey after their encounter, and who knows what twisted way he'll 'make things' right for The Stalk other than his plans for Robot, and sticking with the theme of the comic I'm sure Robot or his family will lash out if The Will gets his way.

Revol
Jul 31, 2003

EHCIARF EMERC...
EHCIARF EMERC...


tvb posted:

Another good issue for fans of The Will (like me). What's best about his storylines is that they've made him such a great character, but as Vaughan pointed out in an interview, you have to balance that likability with the conceit that you can never fully root for him, because his job is ostensibly to kill or capture our protagonists. (Though it seems increasingly likely that if it came down to it, he would let them go and settle for avenging The Stalk.)

Hazel's narration of the last issue made it seem like The Will eventually becomes an ally. They way she mentions him making a bad first impression makes it seem like he ends up contrasting that impression. Otherwise... his first impression, while in ill will (awww yea), would serve correct for him.

Then him speaking to The Stalk makes me thing he also will forgo avenging her... or at least, in the sense that he was currently aiming for. I think we'll see The Will ally with our protagonists as a revenge against The Stalk's killers.

The question is how Gwendolyn will fit into all of this.

Speaking of, we need character bios for Gwendolyn and Sophie in the main post. Unless that is considered spoilery.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

Proudly representing vanilla Legends since 1994


Revol posted:

Hazel's narration of the last issue made it seem like The Will eventually becomes an ally. They way she mentions him making a bad first impression makes it seem like he ends up contrasting that impression. Otherwise... his first impression, while in ill will (awww yea), would serve correct for him.

On the other hand, it's The Will's ship that is in the panel of issue 1 where Hazel narrates about wheels beginning to turn that would have made Marko stay in the tunnels under Cleave if he knew about them. That issue also implies by narration that at least one of Marko and Alana dies young. Given that The Will obviously hates the harming of children, it's possible that he's involved in Marko's or Alana's death but ends up saving Hazel as well.

onefish
Jan 15, 2004



Man, I love Fiona Staples' art for this series. Anyone have recommendations for other really good series or miniseries that are also good showcases for her art?

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PastaSky
Dec 15, 2009


I thought it was pretty clear from the structure of the story and the characters that The Will will eventually switch sides. He just fits the story like that.

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