Saga (Volume 2) by Brian K. Vaughan (writer) and Fiona Staples (artist)
Genres: Comics / Fantasy / Romance / Sci-Fi
I'm going to start by saying that I am in no way immersed in the comic book world. As someone who can probably count all the graphic novels she has read with the fingers of both her hands, I've barely dipped my toes into the waters of the giant ocean of ink, paint, and other media. Most of the comics I've read were introduced to me by a friend who works in a bookstore, Saga included. Since I'm not a collector, I usually wait until the comics I love have been collected into a trade volume. Saga (Vol. 2) was gifted to me by this special friend, and it's taken me at least six months to get to reading it. Yay!
The main arc focuses on the young parents who come from enemy sides - Marko and Alana - trying to escape the hunters who want their baby, a unusually healthy, mixed child.
Still narrated from the voice of baby Hazel, Volume 2 focuses more on the backgrounds of her parents Marko and Alana, as we get to meet Marko's family for the first time. There are flashbacks to Marko's childhood, and the perspective switches between our favorite main characters and Marko's family, the bounty hunter The Will and his lie-detecting cat who wants to rescue a young girl from sexual slavery (and get revenge for his colleague/lover who was killed by royalty).
The stakes are growing for both sides, and while they have been high from the beginning for Marko and Alana, I appreciate that Vaughan takes the time to work on the characters of The Will and Gwendolyn, who have their own motives in this chase.
I read through this in about an hour, but I can't help but flip back to admire the gorgeous artwork done by Fiona Staples. It's...breathtaking, with inclusive ideals of beauty in all colors and shapes. I find myself enjoying the same things here as I did in Volume 1, but Gwendolyn's presence took me by surprise: it's not often that I see a character with dark skin presented so beautifully without being exoticized in animal prints. Here, beast and human elements combine to create a world in which it's hard to idealize a particular sort of beauty. There are many kinds of beautiful here.
Since it's easy to jump to any part and be sucked in by the compelling narrative, gorgeous artwork, and great dialogue (gotta love Alana's sass), this series is worth collecting.
Thanks for reading!