BooksOfTheMoon

Saga, Vol. 9 (Saga, #9)

By Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples

Rating: 4 stars

Aww, bloody hell, Vaughan, really? Really?! Did you have to do that to us and then just leave for a year? This volume of Hazel’s story is more sedate and familial than of late, as the Family and their companions just try to adapt to life together. The Will and his captor, however, are very close behind them and it won’t end well if they catch up.

Vaughn and Staples are still fantastic storytellers, although I don’t know if I can take much more of this emotional roller-coaster. The highs are magnificent, as the creative pair make us revel in such small things that a family should be able to enjoy together – building sandcastles, bickering and loving each other. The lows, on the other hand, come thick and fast towards the end of the volume and I both am dreading and can’t wait for the next volume (whenever it does come).

Book details

ISBN: 9781534308374
Publisher: Image Comics
Year of publication: 2018

Saga, Vol. 8

By Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples

Rating: 5 stars

After the constant grimdark of volume 7, I was very pleased to see that this eighth volume of the Saga story lightens things up a little. It’s still messed up as all hell, but in a great way. And damn, but Vaughan knows how to tug at your heartstrings, the song that Hazel sings to her sort-of-imaginary baby brother that she learned from Izabel is just wonderful. We also get to see some of The Will’s past, quite literally, as things he’s done catch up with him, incidentally storing up trouble for our family in future volumes.

Petrichor and Sir Robot are both still around, and some of the interplay between Petrichor and Hazel are hilarious, as the older woman tries to deal with this child. Sir Robot is still rather a broken character, but sympathetic and interesting.

So a lot to enjoy, some mad twists but a much needed counterpoint to the previous volume. Roll on the next one!

Book details

Publisher: Image Comics
Year of publication: 2017

Saga, Vol. 7

By Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples

Rating: 4 stars

Bloody hell, even by Saga standards, this volume is grim! With their ship running short on fuel, the reunited family touches down on a populated comet called Phang to refuel, and ends up staying for months as some of the fuel gets diverted into feeding a family of refugees from the ever-present war between Landfall and Wreath.

As always, the characters are magnificent, not just the core of Marko and Alana, but the extended family they now have, not least the growing-up Hazel, and those still chasing them. Sir Robot is a standout character for me. Damaged, in more ways than one, he’s a wonderful, and heartbreaking, character to read. This volume shows us the heartlessness of war, where winning or losing a “position” causes immense hardship and suffering for those left behind, and the volume ends on an incredibly depressing note. That combined with the loss of an old favourite made this a hard one for me to read.

The storytelling and art are still immense, but I really hope that our family get a break at some point. I’m not sure I can take much more of this!

Book details

ISBN: 9781534300606
Publisher: Image Comics
Year of publication: 2017

Saga, Vol. 6

By Brian K. Vaughan

Rating: 5 stars

Several years have passed since the end of the last volume, as this one opens with Hazel now an actual honest-t0-goodness person, not just a baby/toddler. Hazel and her grandmother spend these years in a prisoner of war camp on Landfall, and we see several new characters introduced to the cast, including the rather adorable Noreen, Hazel’s teacher and the slightly less adorable but very interesting Petrichor, a trans woman who Hazel befriends while in prison.

As usual, Vaughan’s twists and turns of plot keep me guessing and he drops a real bomb at the end of the volume, which the always brilliant Staples visualises magnificently, with the expression on Alana’s face. It’s not just that, of course, but the rest of the art, which continues to be stunning, as she renders both horrific violence and moments of true tenderness with equal vividness. Staples’ art is as much of Saga as Vaughan’s writing and it wouldn’t be the same without her.

So in case it’s not obvious, I continue to love this series and am impatient for more! Maybe I should ease the waiting time by picking up the rather gorgeous-looking deluxe edition. It’ll be an excuse to read the first 18 chapters again.

Book details

ISBN: 9781632157119
Publisher: Image Comics
Year of publication: 2016

Saga, Vol. 5

By Brian K. Vaughan

Rating: 5 stars

Writing reviews of Saga is starting to get a little dull, really. Each volume is brilliant and moves the story in new directions that throw me off-balance but never to a degree that I stop enjoying the story or caring for the characters. Fiona Staples’ art also continues to be gorgeous, bringing the characters to life in their weird, sexy, horrific glory.

Alana and Marco have been separated by the wannabe revolutionary, Dengo, of the Robot people and while Alana tries to deal with him to recover Hazel, Marco has to team up with his enemy, Prince Robot IV whose child Dengo has also kidnapped.

This all happens in parallel with Gwendolyn and Sophie’s quest to find something that can save The Will, and doesn’t that storyline come with a kick to the gut!

I basically like all of these people and just want them to all talk over their problems, work them out and all live happily in a Friends-style apartment block where they’d be in and out of each others’ homes all the time. Yeah, I know. A guy can daydream though!

I don’t know how much Saga there is to come, but I look forward to the time when I can basically sit down with a bit pile of graphic novels next to my chair and just work through the whole story in one sitting.

Book details

ISBN: 9781632154385
Publisher: Image Comics
Year of publication: 2015

Y: The Last Man, Vol. 4: Safeword

By Brian K. Vaughan

Rating: 3 stars

I recently got the first four volumes of this series which are short enough to read in quick succession, so I’ll use the same review for all four of them.

The Big Event that drives the story here is that one day every male mammal on Earth dies, except Yorrick Brown and his pet monkey. Yorrick isn’t particularly unique or even interesting. He doesn’t have a job and makes a bit of money as an amateur escape artist. But he eventually finds his (congresswoman) mother and begins a quest across America to try and find someone who can use his genetic material to try and either figure out what happened or help repopulate the species, all the time trying to ward off advances as he tries to stay loyal to his fiancée, not to mention the nutter man-haters and international forces who quickly hear about him and try and kill or capture him.

After four volumes, I’m quite enjoying this, but it’s definitely nowhere near as good as Vaughan’s subsequent project, Saga. Yorrick is an annoying mix of smug, self-satisfied and self-loathing that doesn’t endear him to me, although he does improve over time, as the body count racks up around him.

There’s interesting hints about what caused this “plague”, with a possible magical origin hinted at. Then there’s a secret society and his bodyguard, known only as ‘agent 355’. The sexual and gender politics doesn’t ring that true to me, and the whole ‘Daughters of Amazon’ man-haters seem very odd and hardly something that would come to the fore in the portrayed situation.

Still, there’s lots of interest here and I probably will finish the series. But even if you don’t like this, don’t let it put you off the much better Saga which, in my opinion, handles family, sexuality and politics much better than this.

Book details

ISBN: 9781840239218
Publisher: Titan Publishing Company
Year of publication: 2004

Y: The Last Man, Vol. 3: One Small Step (Y: The Last Man, #3)

By Brian K. Vaughan

Rating: 3 stars

I recently got the first four volumes of this series which are short enough to read in quick succession, so I’ll use the same review for all four of them.

The Big Event that drives the story here is that one day every male mammal on Earth dies, except Yorrick Brown and his pet monkey. Yorrick isn’t particularly unique or even interesting. He doesn’t have a job and makes a bit of money as an amateur escape artist. But he eventually finds his (congresswoman) mother and begins a quest across America to try and find someone who can use his genetic material to try and either figure out what happened or help repopulate the species, all the time trying to ward off advances as he tries to stay loyal to his fiancée, not to mention the nutter man-haters and international forces who quickly hear about him and try and kill or capture him.

After four volumes, I’m quite enjoying this, but it’s definitely nowhere near as good as Vaughan’s subsequent project, Saga. Yorrick is an annoying mix of smug, self-satisfied and self-loathing that doesn’t endear him to me, although he does improve over time, as the body count racks up around him.

There’s interesting hints about what caused this “plague”, with a possible magical origin hinted at. Then there’s a secret society and his bodyguard, known only as ‘agent 355’. The sexual and gender politics doesn’t ring that true to me, and the whole ‘Daughters of Amazon’ man-haters seem very odd and hardly something that would come to the fore in the portrayed situation.

Still, there’s lots of interest here and I probably will finish the series. But even if you don’t like this, don’t let it put you off the much better Saga which, in my opinion, handles family, sexuality and politics much better than this.

Book details

ISBN: 9781401202019
Publisher: Vertigo
Year of publication: 2004

Y: The Last Man Vol. 2: Cycles

By Brian K. Vaughan

Rating: 3 stars

I recently got the first four volumes of this series which are short enough to read in quick succession, so I’ll use the same review for all four of them.

The Big Event that drives the story here is that one day every male mammal on Earth dies, except Yorrick Brown and his pet monkey. Yorrick isn’t particularly unique or even interesting. He doesn’t have a job and makes a bit of money as an amateur escape artist. But he eventually finds his (congresswoman) mother and begins a quest across America to try and find someone who can use his genetic material to try and either figure out what happened or help repopulate the species, all the time trying to ward off advances as he tries to stay loyal to his fiancée, not to mention the nutter man-haters and international forces who quickly hear about him and try and kill or capture him.

After four volumes, I’m quite enjoying this, but it’s definitely nowhere near as good as Vaughan’s subsequent project, Saga. Yorrick is an annoying mix of smug, self-satisfied and self-loathing that doesn’t endear him to me, although he does improve over time, as the body count racks up around him.

There’s interesting hints about what caused this “plague”, with a possible magical origin hinted at. Then there’s a secret society and his bodyguard, known only as ‘agent 355’. The sexual and gender politics doesn’t ring that true to me, and the whole ‘Daughters of Amazon’ man-haters seem very odd and hardly something that would come to the fore in the portrayed situation.

Still, there’s lots of interest here and I probably will finish the series. But even if you don’t like this, don’t let it put you off the much better Saga which, in my opinion, handles family, sexuality and politics much better than this.

Book details

ISBN: 9781840237283
Publisher: Titan Books Ltd
Year of publication: 2003

Y: The Last Man Vol. 1: Unmanned

By Brian K. Vaughan

Rating: 3 stars

I recently got the first four volumes of this series which are short enough to read in quick succession, so I’ll use the same review for all four of them.

The Big Event that drives the story here is that one day every male mammal on Earth dies, except Yorrick Brown and his pet monkey. Yorrick isn’t particularly unique or even interesting. He doesn’t have a job and makes a bit of money as an amateur escape artist. But he eventually finds his (congresswoman) mother and begins a quest across America to try and find someone who can use his genetic material to try and either figure out what happened or help repopulate the species, all the time trying to ward off advances as he tries to stay loyal to his fiancée, not to mention the nutter man-haters and international forces who quickly hear about him and try and kill or capture him.

After four volumes, I’m quite enjoying this, but it’s definitely nowhere near as good as Vaughan’s subsequent project, Saga. Yorrick is an annoying mix of smug, self-satisfied and self-loathing that doesn’t endear him to me, although he does improve over time, as the body count racks up around him.

There’s interesting hints about what caused this “plague”, with a possible magical origin hinted at. Then there’s a secret society and his bodyguard, known only as ‘agent 355’. The sexual and gender politics doesn’t ring that true to me, and the whole ‘Daughters of Amazon’ man-haters seem very odd and hardly something that would come to the fore in the portrayed situation.

Still, there’s lots of interest here and I probably will finish the series. But even if you don’t like this, don’t let it put you off the much better Saga which, in my opinion, handles family, sexuality and politics much better than this.

Book details

ISBN: 9781840237085
Publisher: Titan Books Ltd
Year of publication: 2003

Saga, Vol. 4

By Brian K. Vaughan

Rating: 5 stars

In the latest volume of the continuing, er, saga, of Hazel and her family, avoiding pursuit and trying to live a normal life, Alana gets an acting job while Marco is house-husband; Prince Robot IV discovers he has a son; and Gwendolyn and Sophie are trying to find something that will help The Will.

I’m still loving this series, although I’m starting to wish I hadn’t discovered it for another few years – reading a single volume (that takes an hour or two to read) every 6-9 months is really frustrating.

The characters all continue to get good development. I particularly enjoy Marco and Alana’s relationship, which feels vibrant and realistic. They’re just trying to figure out keeping a relationship together and raise a child, (while avoiding being murdered by their respective peoples).

There was a slight discontinuity, I think, for Prince Robot IV. When we last saw him at the end of volume 3, he was injured and returning to his ship. Here, he shows up on the sex planet, with no explanation why, or how he got there, which is a little disappointing. But that’s more than made up for by the plot with his son, and his relationship with his father.

Saga continues to be highly entertaining, touching and moving, while at the same time showing ultra-violence and fairly graphic sex. I don’t know how it gets away with it, but it’s still utterly enchanting.

Book details

ISBN: 9781632150776
Publisher: Image Comics
Year of publication: 2014

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