Two Comic Book Reviews: Wonder Woman Vol. 1 and Saga Vol. 1
I’ve been procrastinating about doing my review of Saga. I read it last week, but I wasn’t quite sure how to approach it. Should I begin with the story of how I acquired the volume? Or should I just jump into the review?
And how should I explain my lateness with my Wonder Woman review? Well, it took the library a long time to get the book. Curse their preference for trade paperback! Oh well, I’ve read it. So now, I’ll review both.
Saga Vol. 1
Where do I begin with Saga vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples? Is it one of the best new comic book series from Image? Is it one of the best new comic book series of 2012? Yes and yes.
Saga is simply freaking awesome. The story is at turns both epic and incredibly personal. The sweep of an intergalactic war as seen through the eyes of a Romeo and Juliet couple struggling to protect their hybrid daughter. Just amazing.
The writing is incredible. The juggling of the various story lines is almost pitch perfect. And the pacing is just rip roaring.
Are there problems? Yes. While the series is wildly imaginative, there is a been there done that vibe as well. Especially with the usage of the bounty hunter characters the Stalk and the Will. I found the Will’s storyline to be a little cliche (which is actually brought up in chapter nine). And I have issues believing that Landfall and Wreath could force other worlds to participate in a proxy war. But those are minor concerns and quibbles. And I’m not the type of science fiction fan who goes crazy at the first sign of issues with world building.
The art is, honestly, phenomenal. There is a playfulness that corresponds well to the highly imaginative universe envisioned.
So, if you haven’t checked out Saga, do so. I doubt you will be disappointed.
Wonder Woman Vol. 1: Blood
Wonder Woman is, perhaps, the most important female super hero in comic books. But writing her is famously difficult. Except for rare instances, there has never really been a definitive statement on Wonder Woman’s personality.
Well, I would argue that Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang’s New 52 run on Wonder Woman is that definitive run.
Greek mythology. Simple as that.
Wonder Woman is inspired by the mythology of ancient Greece. And, honestly, that rich tradition and story potential has been neglected by too many writers on Wonder Woman.
Well, no more. The gods of Olympus are running amok. Zeus is gone, Hera is raging at Zola and Hippolyta, Strife is. . . causing strife, Poseidon is a hoot, and Hades an imp. Just awesome. And the point is that none of them are exactly “super villains.” Not Ares, Wonder Woman’s former arch enemy, who has become apathetic to the throne of Olympus. Not even Hera, the arc’s main antagonist. Yes, she is vengeful over Zeus’s dalliances, but that doesn’t make her evil. Just a goddess who can’t help herself.
The plot is simple (and classic Wonder Woman). Hera is targeting Zeus’s latest conquest (Zola), and Hermes and Wonder Woman struggle to defend the young woman. But in that simple mission, many complications arise. The truth of Diana’s parentage is revealed, the ripples of the contest for the throne of heaven, and Hades’s anger at being used.
The art is interesting. I rather like it. And the coloring is quite good. But when it comes to long shots, the characters tend to be a little too simplistic. But still, the art is good.
I’ve said several times that I’m enjoying the current Wonder Woman run. I really should have this series in my pull list. Now, I just need to get volume 2.