Genres: Graphic Novel, Fantasy, SciFi, Science Fantasy, Image Comics, Saga, Romance
Similar books: Star Wars (Movie Franchise), Long Way to a Small Angry Planet
Previous books in the series/by the author reviewed: Saga Vol. 1
Rating: Recommended, Start with Vol. 1
Here’s the TL;DR for my review:
- Awesome Graphic Novel which deals with adult themes like parenthood, the passing of an elder generation, and PTSD
- Ultra-creative character design and use of color
- About a young family trying to survive when the entire galaxy is out to get them
I’m keeping this review short because this is book 2 in a long running series. It’s good, you should go read it if you haven’t already. This graphic novel is so good I’m having trouble coming up with ‘cons’ to put on this review.
Alana and Marko are two struggling parents, trying to escape a warzone with their young daughter. The trouble is the warzone is determined to follow them, as they are each soldiers from opposite sided who deserted their posts in order to be together. They are Romeo/Juliet who survived long enough to have a kid, but the rest of the galaxy is determined to not let them stay alive for very much longer.
In this edition they are discovered by Marko’s parents, who must quickly come to terms with the fact that their son not only married an enemy of their nation but also had a daughter with her. At the same time they are pursued by Marko’s ex-fiance, who wants to take a pound of flesh from her ex- in revenge for dumping her for a dirty enemy soldier.
I liked the characters introduced in this novel. Marko’s dad quickly came to terms with Marko’s ‘betrayal’, while his mom had the realistic reaction of horror at her son’s marriage to a foreigner. Gwendolyn has the potential to be an amazing character, but she needs more time in the sun. In this novel Gwen showed a lot of agency, but not much characterization beyond ‘jilted ex-lover.’ Hopefully she gets more in coming novels.
The plot in this graphic novel isn’t as solid as that of the first. The A plot revolves around Marko and his mom tracking down a babysitter for Hazel the baby, which isn’t as compelling as the ‘escape with your lives’ plot from the first novel. The B plot was The Will and Gwendolyn teaming up, saving the slave girl from Sextillion and then tracking down Marko. This wasn’t as compelling as The Will’s hot-and-cold relationship with The Stalk in the first novel, but I liked it more than the ‘Meet the in-laws’ A plot. The C plot was a flashback to when Alana and Marko first met. This plot actually was better than the equivalent C plot in the first graphic novel.
Finally, the art is excellent. While the art isn’t as detailed/High Resolution as some other Graphic Novels I’ve read, it’s sheer creativity and the energy the artist conveys adds something ultra-real art can’t. So Kudos to Fiona Staples.