Updated: Jun 24, 2021
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan Art: Fiona Staples Publisher: Image Comics
WHAT IS IT?
“Romeo & Juliet” if Romeo and Juliet were aliens from warring races who had a child that they had to hide from an entire universe who wants to kill them.
People have described it as Game of Thrones meets Star Wars. To that, I say, “Kind of.”
It’s a sprawling, intergalactic tale instead of Medieval fantasy. It has a large cast of characters, and some of them don’t necessarily “survive.” There’s graphic sex and violence, but also beauti-ful moments, heartbreaking loss, adventure, family…
Look, it’s just one of the best comics out there right now. And it has a trophy case of awards to back that statement up.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT? (Minor Spoilers)
Two species have been warring for as long as anyone can remember. Other planets and beings have been pulled into it, causing the war to span across multiple worlds.
Two people from these opposing sides fell in love and had a child. Welcome to your protagonists.
We follow them as they run from their opposing sides and bounty hunters, and while they are also just trying to figure out how this whole “family” thing works. The child actually narrates the story from some point in the future, looking back on the adventure with more than a little nostalgia.
Beyond her family narrative, she also tells us about one of the bounty hunters following them and his lie detector cat; a prince with a TV for a head invested in the family’s future; a couple intrepid journalists trying to uncover the baby’s existence and expose it for the scandal it is; and other characters later down the line.
Arguably the best, most popular indie comic out there
While alien, the characters and their motivations all feel incredibly familiar and human
It’s accessible, easy to read and to immerse yourself in the story
Sketchy art adds a grit and realness that mirrors the unforgiving reality of the story
Strong female characters and incredible representation of different races, cultures and beliefs
Vivid color breathes a lot of life into the story
Huge universe with several volumes to read gives us an expansive story with room to breathe and fall in love with the characters
Watching these extraterrestrial characters do perfectly normal things, like learning how to be parents (shown in the image below) is fascinating, humanizing and helps ground such a huge, potentially overwhelming tale
One writer and one artist throughout the entire series ensures a steady look, tone and feel in every single issue
WHAT DOESN'T WORK?
This comic is a hard “M” – there’s childbirth, a sex planet, a monster with giant dangly bits, blood and guts…it’s not gratuitous, but it’s graphic and it’s present throughout
If you’re not looking to read a science fiction epic, this might not be for you (but you should probably still read it).
The creators take long breaks between issues sometimes (but it’s to prevent burnout, so it’s a good cause!)
WHY SHOULD YOU READ IT?
If you read one comic, just one, I’d recommend this one. I think I read the first 3 trade paperbacks in one night. It’s the comic book equivalent of super-premium, binge-worthy, award-winning TV.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Saga, Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan & Pia Guerra
Descender, Vol. 1 by Jeff Lemire & Dustin Nguyen
If you like the art:
Archie, Vol. 1 by Mark Waid & Fiona Staples
East of West, Vol. 1 by Jonathan Hickman & Nick Dragotta
X-Men Legacy, Vol. 1 by Simon Spurrier & Tan Eng Huat
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Brian K. Vaughan – Writer
Name Recognition: One of the most talented and celebrated writers in the industry
Award Winner: Has won a truly incredible amount of awards for his other comics
Is often directly inspired by what is going on in his life at the time
Fiona Staples – Art & Colors
Award Winner: Has won MANY awards for her work on Saga, and was voted the #1 female comic book artist of all-time by readers of Comic Book Resources
Doesn’t like drawing machines, so you’ll notice her work looks more organic and natural
Steven Finch (AKA “Fonografiks”) – Letters
Dream Team: Often works with comics superstars Brian K. Vaughan and Warren Ellis
HOW DO I BUY IT?
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