Graphic Novels, Tough Chicks: Vol. 9

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Graphic Novels, Tough Chicks is an original feature that celebrates the amazing female characters that abound in graphic novels. While many people still associate this particular form with a male readership, certain graphic novels empower women and combat feminine stereotypes through illustration and text. Tough chicks resist injustice, fight for their beliefs, and they donโ€™t take flak from nobody. These women are capable of fighting their own battles, both literally and figuratively.

Saga Vol 4Saga Volume 4 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Genre: SCIENCE FICTION, ROMANCE

Publisher: Image Comics on December 17, 2014

Source: Library

From the Eisner Award-winning duo of Brian K. Vaughan (The Private Eye, Pride of Baghdad) and Fiona Staples (Mystery Society, Thor, SAGA is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the universe. As they visit a strange new world and encounter even more adversaries, baby Hazel finally becomes a toddler, while her star-crossed parents Marko and Alana struggle to stay on their feet.

I love the Saga series and SAGA VOL. 4 is certainly no exception. That said, there were some parts of this latest volume that really unsettled me. I guess that’s a good way to describe the general tone or theme of the volume: families, unsettled. On the run and in the face of some truly horrific obstacles, Alanna, Marko, Hazel et al have always operated as a cohesive unit to protect one another. They make the whole “running for our lives through the galaxies” thing look pretty damn good.

But when you’ve only been someone’s spouse and someone’s parent in those insane conditions, slowing down and staying put can have some pretty drastic and unforeseen consequences. When your whole life with someone has been built upon constantly running and fighting, there are bound to be some finer points that fall through the cracks. And let’s be real, even the best relationships go through rough patches – especially when you’re new parents…and broke.

Let’s just say that both Alana and Marko need to re-evaluate their coping methods.

Image: Fiona Staples & Brian K. Vaughan
Image: Fiona Staples & Brian K. Vaughan

Enjoy the above moment of domestic cuteness while you can, people. Because everything is notย going to be okay.

Meanwhile, in another corner of the galaxy, certified tough chicks Gwendolyn and Sophie are busy being totally kickass. Two ladies of colour taking up arms, flying their ship across space, and amassing allies to save a loved one? That’s exactly the sort of epic woman-power I was looking for when I started this feature in the first place. And it’s why I will always love the Saga series. But I digress.

Gwendolyn and Sophie are gallivanting around the galaxy (galaxies? I never really know) trying to find a cure for The Will. Both ladies are very attached to him for various reasons and would do basically anything to make him well again…which usually means that crazy stuff is imminent. And trust me, it is. The shit really hits the fan in this one, y’all. Thank goodness for the comedic relief provided by the snarky exchanges between G & S. Behold:

Image: Fiona Staples & Brian K. Vaughan
Image: Fiona Staples & Brian K. Vaughan

I’m telling you, these two together is comedic gold.

Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples are a wonderful team who obviously communicate their ideas very well, since the writing and artwork in this series always feels perfectly in sync. With complex relationships, insane world building, amazing characters – and of course, tough chicks – Saga is a series you need to be reading. But for those of you who aren’t caught up yet, I feel compelled to issue a warning: SAGA VOL. 4 ends on a brutal cliffhanger. My jaw actually dropped when I flipped to the final page. And I mean really, don’t you want to be reading a graphic novel series that’sย literallyย jaw dropping?

Have you read SAGA VOL. 4 or any of the other volumes in the series? Who is your favourite character, tough chick or otherwise? What other comics/graphic novels should I be reading? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

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  • Ahh, this is a great feature. I’ve been thinking about starting to read graphic novels for a while now (basically since I began participating in tough travels) but I don’t know where to start! I’ve only ever read Blankets and Hugo Cabret, I think ๐Ÿ™

    • Hum… What kind of stories/genres do you like? I can try to recommend some ๐Ÿ™‚

    • YAY thanks! ๐Ÿ˜€ I started it because I didn’t really know much about graphic novels and wanted to bring attention to some with, well, tough chicks. Haha. Quick recommendations for ongoing series: Rat Queens (vol 1 and 2 are out), Saga (vol 1-4 are out), and Princeless (vol 1 and 2 are out). Stand alone graphic novels…hmmm, Nimona by Noelle Stevenson and Through the Woods by Emily Carroll (although this one is quite spooky, so you’ve been warned!). I’ve reviewed all of these in some capacity on here and included some panels, so you can check those posts out to get a feel for art styles! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Ooh, thanks for these! I’ll check them out (your reviews first). Spookiness is tolerated in small quantities ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I finally read this one last month. Unsettled is an understatement, but that’s why I love this series ๐Ÿ™‚ Saga vol 5 already preordered!

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    • Yeah, I was actually very upset when I finished reading this one. I mean…Alanna and Marko. And then Alanna…and then Marko…!!!! I even felt bad for the Prince Robot, despite his asshat-like nature. I’ve also got Saga Vol. 5 preordered! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I just bought a copy of Volume 1 and have barely cracked it open, but enough to know I’m going to love this series. I’ve just started getting into graphic novels lately too, so I’m really happy to read your reviews!

    • AHHHH yay! So glad you’re jumping on board this series, Tammy. I definitely think you’ll like it. Great world building, romance, family, humour, badass ladies. What’s not to love? Just be sure to never read it in public…so much nudity, haha.

  • I really need to read Saga, it’s already on my TBR for some time, and I already have it on my computer, but you know… there are a lot of great comics to read out there. Probably I’ll read it after Rat Queens ๐Ÿ˜€

    • HA, I often use that exact reasoning to put off some of my TBR picks. Rat Queens is SO GREAT, I love that series! I just read Vol. 2 a few weeks ago actually and it was wonderful.