The storyline should be the most obvious choice for the assessment, but the writer, Brian K. Vaughan, and the art blasts this comic into comic orbit.
It starts off with the birth of a baby girl caught in the middle of a galatic war. Her parents are Alana and Marko, two lovers from long-warring extraterrestrial races who are struggling to survive. Hazel’s birth means something new — something extraordinary — for these feuding planets, but what is not known. Her parents did something considered “awful” by falling in love and now everyone involved in the war are trying to catch them.
This new series has been said to be a cross between “Star Wars” and “Game of Thrones” with a bit of “Lord of the Rings” and “Romeo & Juliet.” When I finished reading it, I realized that this assessment is a bit off; it is heavily Star Wars (Vaughan admits being influenced by the movie series since childhood) with the sci-fi opera/Shakespeare angle. It is definitely a newer concept and definitely a fresh idea for the comic world.
Vaughan has been out of the comic world for a few years now, but he made waves when he first emerged on the print scene. He created “Y: The Last Man,” “Ex Machina,” “Runaways” and “Pride of Baghdad.” These are all acclaimed titles, praised by the best and rightfully so. I have yet to read “Y: The Last Man” but I heard it is one of the best titles around. He also is known for being a writer for the TV show “Lost” for a few seasons. You can tell he oozes creativity.
The art by Fiona Staples puts all these concepts together with such precise detail. I will warn you, this is NOT for children. The fight scenes are extremely graphic and some other adult scenes are, too. It is rated M for Mature. What I love about Staples is she is so unique! She has a 3-D affect with the characters, it is like they are jumping off the page — minus the glasses. Her art and Vaughan’s ideas mesh so incredibly well, as if they are one person. What also blew me away was the the variety of typography: a different font for the monitor-head race and then when Hazel is narrating, it is handwritten. This was done by Fonografiks.
The storyline is a bit confusing and might be difficult to get through with all of that. However, you must understand that Vaughan created his own dimension or part of the universe. An epic tale takes some time to sort out, and two issues will not be enough. I think we get enough details that we are yearning for more but get a clear grasp of the characters.
Comic Book Wednesday is a new feature that will showcase a variety of visually based books that fit into this wide category, to give a taste of this other form of reading.