When I started reading the second volume, I was a little worried that I wouldn’t have remembered what had happened previously. It was seemingly unnecessary as it turned out, because as I started getting into it, it was as if no time had passed at all. It could have been for many reasons, I suppose but I put it down to the originality and the creativity of the book that keeps it so fresh in my mind.
Simply put, this book is a masterpiece. It takes and mashes up so many genres under the science-fiction banner it is a literal wonder to behold. Romance, action, horror, comedy – this book has it all. There is a little Game of Thrones going on with the different factions battling for territories and a very healthy dose of Romeo and Juliet thrown in to balance it out. It has self-sacrifice, it has Fugitive elements and it has bounty hunters. Sometimes it seems that the author is just throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks and for whatever reason, everything does. If it was any other author than Brian K. Vaughn, it just wouldn’t work.
This arc was mainly about how Marko and Alana met. Alternating between showing us this in the past and their current state in the present, it was a nice way to break the book up. It is almost as if you are watching a film, though clearly we are not.
My favourite part was probably where Alana discovered how much she enjoys reading the boring romance novel. It is a funny scene because you think of her as a hardened warrior and a new mother and yet Alana’s finding and reading of the book, the pleasure she derives from it and how she wants to share it with everyone really makes her endearing, seemingly innocent and cute.
There are a lot of other really good moments in the book – any scene with Barr who is Marko’s father. And anything with Prince Robot IV is pretty genius. Liar Cat is such a simplistic character and yet the book would not be the same without him. The tree ship, the magic spells and even little Hazel, the baby makes the book very interesting, more so than most. It is also nice to see some of the aliens actually look alien instead of just human shaped with different coloured skin. As an origin ‘issue’ this arc was really well done and other authors should take note on how to do it maybe not correctly, but more interesting.
This book also would not be complete without the incredible pencils of Fiona Staples. What she brings to life on the page is pretty magical. The characters and their emotions pop, and you can see what they are feeling without being told so. The big alien baby is a cool visual as is Liar Cat eating the face off of a guy – just two scenes out of so many that really stick in your head. Like I said earlier, it could be a movie except it’s on the printed page. I also like the fact that it is a very colourful book. It isn’t too dark or drab, even when the material needs it to be which is a nice change.
All in all, if you wanted a really good book to read for any occasion, this is the one. Writing, art, production and especially price definitely make this a must buy – whether monthly or as trades. Buy all the issues or buy volume 1 and 2. You will not regret it.
5 out of 5