Saga Book 2 Deluxe Hard Cover
Written by: Brian K. Vaughn
Art by: Fiona Staples
It’s been a while since I read Saga, but recently I got my hands on the new book 2 deluxe hardcover edition. Once I started, I couldn’t stop myself. It took me a few hours, but it really took me back. I forgot how great it feels to absorb a graphic novel in its entirety. That sense of completion while taking the time to absorb all the details, mourn over lost characters. That’s the kind of up-and-down thrill ride Saga is.
I’m not gonna lie, I fell off reading mainstream comics a long time ago, about 3 years to be precise, but I still collect indie titles from time to time. Writer Brian K. Vaughn and artist Fiona Staples tell an original story equal parts enthralling and insanely adrenaline pumping. If you already love the series, then you don’t need confirmation, just go and order your copy already!
Book 2 collects issues 19-36, or trade volumes 4-6, and continues with Marko and Alana struggling to make ends meet. Keeping their identities a secret from the overwhelming forces of Landfall and Wreath isn’t easy, and writer Brian K. Vaughn maneuvers multiple plot lines like it’s easiest thing to do. The best part - at least for me - is seeing how fallout from one issues suddenly becomes an integral piece 3 issues down. The plots are interweaved like an intricate spiderweb, where every thread is delicate, and to cut one means chaos for its connecting strings. Mostly, I’m just in it for the non-stop drama and outrageous twists.
Characters who began as bad guys suddenly become apprehensive allies. Some of the imagery can be shocking - that’s the point - but those moments give readers a desensitizing view of dangerous worlds. This helps to ground the settings in a sense of reality. Book 2 begins with a time skip, and ends with yet another. When read altogether, Hazel’s crazy life feels fast-paced and erratic, as if there’s hardly time to breathe. The second you get comfortable with one setting, Vaughn and Staples switch it up, like some twisted, galactic game of musical chairs. This review won’t spoil anything, but if you’re a fan of sci-fi fantasy, I’d urge you to check this out. I’m near positive your local comic shop nerd would recommend this; so long as you’re over the age of 18. This ain’t a kid comic, in case you didn’t know.
The art, as expected from Staples, is fantastic. Not to get too graphic, but seeing a kaiju-sized dragon siphoning syrup out of his own phallus was oddly hypnotizing. The death’s are soul-crushing, and the journey is uneasy and fantastic. It’s an insane read frombeginning to end, and that can only be accomplished when a writer and artist share a collaborative chemistry. By the end you stop rooting for Marko and Alana, and start cheering for Hazel. I speak for myself, but at some point, I think we forget who this story was really about.
For roughly $50, and packing almost 500 pages of gorgeous artwork, the new hardcover isn’t a bad deal. However, Amazon has a $20 discount, so you can nab this juicy hardcover for $30 dollars plus shipping. As an added bonus the back section contains artwork from a who’s who of popular comic artists, including Todd McFarlane and Chip Zdarsky. The new hardcover hits stores May 2nd, so make sure to call your LCS and place your order now.