I was warned when I picked this up at the library where I work that it was super offensive but really, really good. I don’t have a problem with offensive at all and I’m usually a fan of really, really good, so I checked it out. WOAH! OH MY GOODNESS, YOU GUYS! SO SO SO SO GOOD.
WARNING: This book is pretty dang offensive and has some bad language and nudity, so if that might bother you, don’t read on. I have included a few pictures, one of which has some boobs, and I have one expletive in my review. 🙂
HOLY SHIT, YOU GUYS (there’s that one expletive). This book. If you are interested in or already love graphic novels, read Saga. It is incredible. I flew through it and then immediately put a hold on the second volume. We don’t have the third volume in the library system, so I’m probably going to buy it. I’m kind of obsessed.
Okay, so the planet Landfall is at war with its moon, Wreath. The conflict between the two has engulfed the entire galaxy. In the midst of all this, two soldiers from opposite sides of the war find love with one another. Branded as traitors after the birth of their daughter, Wreath foot soldier Marko and Private First Class Alana of Landfall are hoping to escape the war that has consumed their worlds to raise their daughter in a safe place. Unfortunately, because they are traitors, the two sides of the war can now agree on one thing: Marko and Alana need to die. Uh oh.
Marko and Alana (along with their baby daughter Hazel, who narrates the story) are stuck on Cleave and must navigate the planet to find the Rocketship Forest so that they may escape the planet and galaxy. On the way, they find the Horrors, a group of ghosts of the residents of Cleave, who are stuck on the planet after they die in order to protect it (it obviously didn’t work well as the war has overrun the planet). Fortunately, Izabel, one of the Horrors, offers to help the couple on their journey. Izabel was one of my favorite characters in the novel. She’s a super sassy teenager with no legs. She’s funny and sweet and completely endearing.
The government of Landfall hires Robot IV, a prince, who, I think, is more human than several of the actually human characters in the novel. His “head” is a computer screen, and I really liked how occasionally he’d have pictures show up on the screen either to demonstrate his feelings (like the picture below) or to show the people he’s talking to the evidence that he’s questioning them about. It was quite clever actually.
We also have a couple of other antagonists, mercenaries hired to hunt down the couple and their daughter. One of them, The Stalk, has got to be one of the creepiest creatures I’ve seen in a long time. Fiona Staples, the illustrator, is brilliant and The Stalk made me shudder when I first encountered her. In fact, I got creeped out pretty much every time we saw her, particularly if we were seeing her from a new angle. The picture on the left is the first time we see her and then the one on the right is a little later on. *shudders*
But my absolute favorite character has got to be the other mercenary, The Will, and his super awesome cat.
I mean, can you say “BAMF”? Look at him walking at us. The cape, the cigarette, that freaking cat. He’s super intense and sassy and I just love him. The Will supposedly only has the ethics that his clients tell him to, but he soon is fighting with his morals in order to… well, I guess I won’t give it away. You should just read it. But I was rooting for The Will, even though he’s technically the villain. Sometimes, it was hard to remember that he had been hired to kill our heroes.
So our heroes. Alana and Marko are strong and kind and they are perfect for each other. I found that I was on their side right from the beginning; I wanted them to escape the war, to be happy, to be free. I think there is definitely something to say about an author (and illustrator) who can evoke such strong emotions from their audience. I really wanted everything to work out for our heroes.
I could probably talk about all the different things I loved about this graphic novel for days. So I’ll stop there, but I loved this novel and I’m so glad it was my first graphic novel (in a while). I cannot wait to keep reading about these characters.
Written by Brian K. Vaughan; illustrated by Fiona Staples
Published by Image Comics; October 2012