Comic Reviews: Saga and Avengers Assemble!
Brian K. Vaughan finally returns to comics with Saga, the latest ongoing from Image Comics. Alongside artist Fiona Staples, Saga is a space epic, and the starts of something phenomenal that will sit comfortably alongside Vaughn’s previous works, Ex Machina and Y: The Last Man.
A mix of Star Wars, Lord Of The Rings, and a little bit of Romeo and Juliet, Saga starts with the birth of a girl whose parents are from warring races. Marko, the father, is a member of the horn-sprouting race that belongs on the moon of the planet that wing-wearing Alana lives on. The two have come together against impossible odds, and in the midst of a seemingly never-ending war between their two species that spans an entire galaxy they give birth to a child that is now on everyone’s radar. From the first page, the characters of Alana and Marko are clearly defined, and their dialogue is extremely fun to read.
Vaughan proves that he’s one of the best writers out today with this opening issue. The narrative, told from the point of view of the just born Hazel, is informative but not dragged out, and the simple fact that these two worlds, knowing that blowing up the other would cause themselves to be blown out of orbit, hire out other species and armies to fight for them is a really cool concept, and is used to great advantage by Vaughn and artist Fiona Staples. Speaking of Staples, the character designs here are fantastic. The sheer amount of alien species shown in just this first issue rivals the cantina scene in Star Wars for amount of wow factor, with the strange (the robot race with TV monitors for heads) to the awesome (Crocodile butler!).
There’s a TON of hype surrounding Saga, and I’m very happy to say that it lives up to it. The sheer scope of this issue is insane, and at $2.99 for 40 pages, it’s impossible for it to not to pick up. Saga is sure to go down as another home run for Vaughan. Pick it up now and get on the train before you have to trade wait! Highly, HIGHLY recommended.
Avengers Assemble #1
The Avengers have a movie coming out in a few months, not sure if you’ve heard. To tie in with the sure to be blockbuster, Marvel has released Avengers Assemble, yet ANOTHER Avengers title that can sit alongside Avengers, New Avengers, Secret Avengers, Avengers Academy, and so on.
Written by Brian Michael Bendis, who teams up with his Ultimate Spider-man and Brilliant artist Mark Bagley, the issue is a slow burn set-up that re-introduces The Zodiac into the Marvel universe. Their new power set is very cool, and I really like the designs of the villains. Unfortunately the story is a little lacking. The Avengers give a press conference, Hulk is attacked by the Aquarius member of Zodiac, and Black Widow and Hawkeye stake out a criminal hideout and are attacked by Taurus, who then gets beat on by Thor and Iron Man. That’s pretty much it. The book is quickly paced, but at the same time, it feels a little disjointed. It may be that this team doesn’t really match up with any of the current Avengers rosters, or that it does really feel like a cash grab to get the people who are pumped for the movie. With so many Avengers titles out, unfortunately this one didn’t do enough to convince me to stick around.