Home Comics/Books ‘Missing Out!’ Review: Saga

‘Missing Out!’ Review: Saga


‘Missing Out!’ is, I hope, the ideal series for the lazy geek! If like me you’ve an army of geeky mates then you’ll know that they are always plugging their favorite shows, movies, comics, anime and games at you and for whatever reason you’ll just nod, smile and half promise to ‘totally check it out’!  When and IF I do get round to checking out the recommended game/movie/comic etc.  I’ve always ended up regretting dragging my heels
– such is the case with the comic series ‘Saga’.


Saga is the work of writer Brian K. Vaughn (Y: The Last Man, Spider-Man, Captain America) and artist Fiona Staples (The Secret History of the Authority: Hawksmoor), published in March 2012 the first issue was well received by critics and comic book fans and it’s first print sold out, the six issue arc met with just as much success and the series continues on and is currently on it’s 21st issue. The story follows Marco and Alana, an interracial alien husband and wife both born to opposite sides of a war between their peoples, as they struggle to stay one step ahead of authorities, bounty hunters and the battlefield while they try to raise their baby daughter, Hazel and keep her out of the hands of those who would do them all harm.

saga_10_Page_2_trim_0So it’s two years old, is there much point in catching up with this one?

I’ll be honest I love comics, I love the TV show spin-offs, the movies and games, collectibles and cheap t-shirts but I’ve never really felt a strong connection with a comic book – I love the X-Men but picking up the comics (late in the game) always felt like a chore. That is not the case with Saga, okay it’s only on issue 21 so it’s not as if there are 300 issues and a tie-in/spin-off story arc to collect but it’s not about the volume of work but the actual ability to join a story after it’s taken off, after it’s won awards and after the characters have found their feet.

Vaughn has done something entirely incredible with Marco and Alan, with Hazel and her babysitter Izabel, with their terrifying pursuers and with every corner of the pages. I came to Saga late but it doesn’t matter; I feel welcome in this world, by these characters and monsters, there is something very familiar about all of it even if the setting is not of this Earth. A family struggling, a family torn apart and barely hanging on but still strong in the face of their troubles – he has created people that feel very much real and very much alive – you find yourself caring about Marco, worrying for Hazel and sympathizing with ‘The Will’.
Complimentary to Vaughn’s well-crafted story-telling is Staple’s artwork – the grand vastness of the Universe has never looked so terrifying and exciting from the ceaseless expanse of space, to the sprawling landscapes of strange planets to the faint hint of expressions on the faces in the background, Staples tells her own story with every page.


Wings and horns, scales and mechanics, Staples fleshes out some amazing characters and couples them with some of the best facial and body expressions I’ve ever seen – from Alana’s smouldering sarcastic glance to the burrowed scowl imprinted on Gwendolyn’s forehead, Staples pumps the life into Vaughn’s words.

Underneath all of that though there is a heart, a comic book pouring out some very personal and real themes and messages, love and adversity, the strength in family (no matter what or who makes up the family unit), tolerance, equality and the impact relationships have on our development – if the heart of the series is visible anywhere it’s in Hazel. We are given the chance to see a new life born (literally one of the greatest birthing scenes ever written) and then across pages and issues we watch as the world, the environment and the people around her grow, change, fall apart and shape her.
If it’s all sounding a little heavy forget all that and just take in the world Vaughn and Staples have created together – at it’s simplest level it’s about two people who should never have gotten together in the first place let alone had a child and how they plan on surviving and raising her in a world that was already pretty tough before they even knew each other.

Saga is brutal, beautiful, raw, funny, heart-breaking, charming, messed up and wonderful – At some point in our lives we’ll relate to this, maybe not entirely, maybe only a fraction of it but that’s the best thing about Saga – the story feels personal and you take from it what you want. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to say that about anything I’ve read – do yourself a favor, catch up on Saga and don’t miss out on it any more!

untitled-1-1344400879Saga Vol. 1-3 are available now in trade paperback.