I can’t put my finger exactly what it is about this comic that keeps me coming back for more. Is it the brilliant writing, or the stunning artwork, or just the fact that on comic shelves cluttered with powers and other generic comic stories it’s fresh and different, and in essence deals with love and family and what extent you will go to protect it? Issue 19 continues the “saga” of Marko, Alana and Hazel trying to find a safe place to live and be a family without having to look over their shoulder. This family is a family that in all fairness should not exist; two people from warring planets falling in love and having a child, only to be cast out, hunted down, and left to fight for their love and their family.
There of course is more to the story than just this, but that’s what I find as the underlying theme, and it seems there isn’t much they won’t do for their love and family. In this issue, our family has taken residence on a small dwarf planet called Gardenia, which is neither for the Coalition nor for Wreath. Alana has taken up acting on the Open Circuit stage, which is pretty much a soap opera broadcast, the easiest place for her to earn a living hidden in plain sight. Things are tight for them yet they are still managing to make it and keep the family not only together but close and safe.
Brian K. Vaughan has created a story that each month keeps me on pins and needles waiting for what will happen next, and what story Hazel will tell of her family. To develop a story told from the perspective of a character who has never been introduced but born within the first story arc is a concept that at first I wasn’t sure about but I absolutely love it, while we get to see Hazel grow and tell this story I still can’t help but wondering where she is in the present and what she actually looks like. The whole universe is expansive with so many different races and interesting stories of it’s own, like Prince Robot and his wife and where they come from and how they came to be. It’s not just a comic it’s an entire universe that you can immerse yourself in and never want to leave.
Fiona Staples has got to be one of the most talented artists out there right now. There are times when I wonder about the necessity of certain things – whether it’s the porn on Prince Robot IV’s screen or the opening page of this issue – yet at the same time, they fit the story perfectly and set the tone right off the bat for the issue. Each character is so distinct from another that it just makes it easy to read and continue seeing what types of character we will see next. The words of this comic tell an amazing tale but without Staples’ extraordinary talent to tell a story with words it just wouldn’t be the same.
The writer of this piece was: Shane Hoffman (aka “Hoff”)
You can also find Hoff on Twitter.