Saga Volume 8 by Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan
Published by Image Comics, 2018
Genre: Graphic novel, Space opera
Rating: 1.5 out of 5
Re-readability: This was the nail in the coffin for me. I’m afraid I won’t be revisiting this or the rest of the Saga series.
Reviewed by Pete
A spoiler-free review
Saga is a series that I once found fresh and unusual: a family story set in a war-wracked universe filled with diverse characters and alien races. It was fun at the beginning. Gorgeous illustrations captured spectacular creatures and places. The plot felt almost cozy in the middle of such a grand setting.
By the eighth volume, I am worn out. I couldn’t even remember where the protagonists, Marko and Alana, left off in the previous volume. I’m having trouble keeping track of who’s alive and who’s dead (since the last volume was so death-filled). A series that once had a strong direction and focus now feels as if its spread itself too thin and run out of characters at the same time. The volumes have become repetitive: introduce a cast of new characters, kill off most of those characters, kill off some more major characters, and throw in some clever quips about family or parenthood.
The least charming part of the series by this point is the incessant need to be edgier than last time. This chapter begins in “Abortiontown.” Not that the previous volumes didn’t have their own edgy moments. Maybe I’m just tired of dark jokes and gore. Regardless, the effect has worn off and the purpose is null.
Fortunately, each volume of Saga is short. I suppose I might get the next volume from the library, but I won’t be looking forward to the release like I used to. Saga has become a loosely-woven collection of stray plots and characters—or maybe it was always that way.