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Saga vol 5 s/c

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Saga vol 5 s/c back

Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples


Page 45 Review by Stephen


Are you seriously not reading SAGA? Let's see what I can do about that.

At its heart SAGA is a visually sexy, wickedly inventive, highly irreverent and astutely observed comedy about love, war and human behaviour. Oh, and parenthood, for it's narrated from adulthood by Alana and Marko's daughter Hazel, the first of her hybrid kind who's currently just above knee-height.

"Ask a child's guardians what it takes to be good at their jobs, and most will answer with a single word... SACRIFICE.
"Parents give up so much: time, sleep, freedom, money, intimacy...
"Pretty much everything except complaining about how much they sacrifice."

Regular readers will be dismayed but far from surprised to learn that there is even more sacrifice in this book than any of the others.

It stars two lovers from separate species, their daughter (don't little ones say the darnedest things?), their daughter's grandmother, an ex-lover, an assassin's similarly skilled sister, a robot prince with television for a head and a giant, turquoise Lying Cat, which is basically a cat compelled to growl "LYING" whenever you've popped out a porky pie. These are some of my favourite panels for Vaughan has managed to wring from the conceit both comedic and quite unexpectedly moving moments too.

I've reviewed all four previous books but the SAGA DELUXE EDITION VOL 1 is possibly my best overview even if you end up buying its three constituent softcovers instead. In each Fiona and Brian - who seem such lovely people - manage to startle at least once with something of a sexual nature so laugh-out-loud explicit and wrong that you can't actually believe they've committed it to print. It's usually then that you remember you've just leant a copy to your mother-in-law.

Here it involves a male dragon. You have no idea.

Fiona's dragons are sleek, salamander-like beasts. Her designs are as thrilling as her storytelling skills, key amongst them being heart-melting expressions, even on a cat. There's a flashback to Marko's childhood when he was protecting his dog from a neighbour's delinquent daughter who was practising fire spells on the poor creature with no care or consideration for the poor pet's pain. I defy to swear you wouldn't use violence yourself to protect your pet from such cruelty. Marko lashes out. You're not shown that scene but you are shown Marko's father's reaction. When little Marko realises what's possibly in store his deer-like ears droop down and doe-eyes look up quizzically, a little pleadingly, and it is the very essence of vulnerability.

Bringing you up to speed will only serve up spoilers and we don't do that here. As I say, try some of those other reviews. Instead I can reveal that it does involve captivity, being separated from your loved one, protecting your child, an all-consuming desire for revenge, violence and compassion and - oh dear - sacrifice.