Brian K. Vaughan

About this time last year I discovered a really interesting new graphic novel called Saga written by Brian K. Vaughan. The third volume recently came out and, as I’ve enjoyed the series so far, I decided to see what else we have in our system by Vaughan. Three series looked promising so I’ve begun reading them all. Here are my thoughts, from worst to best.

Y: The Last Man

YLastManCoverI heard about this comic several years ago when it first came out. It sounded like it could be a worthwhile read. Something has killed every male human and animal on the Earth, except for Yorick and his pet monkey Ampersand. There’s a lot of mystery in this story since it’s unknown why all the males died simultaneously. There are a couple of story lines going on, including one with Israeli military leaders. But… it’s really not that good. Yorick is a fine main character- he’s a pretty generic male character and very American. Maybe he grows a bit in further issues but so far, if he’s the sole hope of the human race, well, we won’t be lasting long. It’s also frustrating to see so many stereotypes. For example, all the men die, so naturally a group of militant feminists called the Amazons come into power and then spend the majority of their time and resources tracking down Yorick. Seriously? Am I really expected to believe that if men essentially ceased to exist, women like that would still be intent on trying to destroy the last remaining male? No. No, they wouldn’t because that would be stupid and wasteful and self destructive. My library only owns the first book and I won’t be making any attempts to find further issues. It’s an interesting premise that hasn’t been executed well so….on to better things.

Runaways

RunawaysCoverA group of teenagers accidentally find out their parents are super villains and members of The Pride. The first book deals with the fallout of this discovery and the realization that the teens are just as powerful as their parents. It’s light, it’s fun, and it’s a different take on superheros. Granted, I’ve only read the first book and I’m certain it gets more serious as the series progresses but it looks like it could be an interesting and unusual take on the standard superhero origin story with a fun teenage rebellion spin to make things really interesting. Side note: as a Marvel story, this seems to take place in the same universe as the Avengers. They’ve been hinted at already and I’m wondering if they come into play later on.

Saga

SagaCoverAlana and Marko are soldiers from the opposite sides of a war that’s been going on for decades. The war is no longer being fought on their homeworlds and has instead been outsourced to planets across the galaxy spreading death and destruction. Alana and Marko have fallen in love and given birth to a mixed race baby. This has caused panic among the higher powers and bounty hunters have been sent to find and destroy the couple and their baby. There are several side stories about the people searching for them and the people who help them. I’m only three books in but there have been several additions and subtractions to the main core of characters as well. Apparently, Vaughan can be very Martin-esque (George R. R., that is) in his willingness to kill off characters, so you’ve been warned. The art is beautiful, the story is engaging, and I’m really looking forward to seeing where this story goes and who this little baby turns out to be. Disclaimer: the series has well earned its Mature rating. There’s sex, violence, and nudity, and while it is graphic, I don’t feel that it is gratuitous.

Is anybody else a fan of one or more of these series?

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