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Saga: Volume Two


By Brian K. Vaughn (Author),
Fiona Staples (Illustrator)

Image Comics (Publisher)

I teach college English classes, and one of the things that students sometimes tell me is that I tend to assign books that are dark and depressing. I do this for a reason; I think you can learn more from the sad stuff. But so many years of reading bummers have left me immune to forming attachments to characters; I simply assume that no one is safe, and it’s easier on me emotionally to keep my feelings about characters at arm’s length. Usually that’s easy, especially with a large cast. But Saga cracked my ironbound hide; I read every issue with my heart in my throat, needing the characters I’ve come to depend on to be okay. And it doesn’t always happen, but I love them enough to be there no matter what. Seamlessly blending words and image, Vaughn and Staples’ tomes always read like religion. I don’t know what kind of magic they perform in order to achieve the balance of humor and pathos that Saga achieves, but it is always faultless in ideas and execution. Volume Two continues with the story of warring planets Wreath and Landfall and the human fallout from the outsourcing of war. Marko and Fiona are lovers from each of the respective planets, brought together by their shared distaste for the violence their cultures have forced upon them. The story is progressive, has multi-dimensional characters and is never, ever predictable. Marko and Fiona demonstrate a gorgeous element of gender-bending, with female strength and masculine emotion on display in a way you rarely see in mainstream media. Saga might break your heart, but it’s a break that everyone should experience.

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