The saga continues
(Alaf 21/Comix 21) (RM12) Script: Fairul Nizam Artists: Zuraizee Zulkifli, Akmal Aziz Asmawi, Adifitri Ahmad and Nor Salim
Ttagline would most likely provide most of us with a sense of déjà vu.
Inspired by Image Comics’ The Ride, which focused on the impact of a 1968 Camaro and its life-altering effects, Saga offers us a story with Malaysian feel.
Satu Permulaan, the first tale takes us back to 1985 when the Saga euphoria began. Captured from a kampung setting, a school teacher WENTY-five years have passed but I can still clearly remember my first encounter with the national car. Then, with all media channels (three TV and numerous radio stations) blaring praises over our country’s debut in the automobile industry, just eyeballing a Proton Saga on the road was enough to give me patriotic goosebumps.
While it took me two years to physically feel the Saga’s capabilities, somehow the numerous school assignments relating to the car already made me feel as if I owned one.
While I’m sure the car touches the nation in different ways, most of us will not have the opportunity to share or voice our two cents worth about it ... unlike the four “proud owners” featured in this neatly woven together storyline (with four tales).
Whether you are a car-addict, a patriot or just someone who needs a car to get from point A to B, the Satu Kereta. Empat Cerita. Tentang Kita, becomes the talk of the village courtesy of owning a Saga. While his joy and excitement is shared by others, their degree of satisfaction differs especially when some are just contented not being behind the wheels. The life-altering moment comes when an innocent bystander becomes the Saga’s victim. As a consolation, the incident does put an end to the annoying “why did the chicken cross the road?” riddle.
Next is Si Budak Bertuah, which captures the materialistic nature of today’s brats. Meet Siew Mei, a teenager who has yet to earn a single sen in wages but is blessed by her parents’ generosity.
While most of us at that age would have compromised with a bike, Siew Mei’s biasness towards a particular foreign brand makes her “allergic” to a secondhand Saga (no prizes for guessing who they bought this car from). Throw in a love interest and a car-jacking incident and this tale offers an interesting recap of today’s youth problems.
The third tale, Rompakan Beragam offers the dark-side of the same Saga’s journey as its new “owners” have dastardly plans for their ride. A gang of “cosplayers” make their great escape after pocketing some moolah! While the police are rather unlucky in apprehending the crooks, they receive a boost from an unexpected assistant named “Karma”.
The events come a full circle in Garisan Penamat, which doubles as a happy ending for the much-trav- elled Saga and offers closure to the lead characters.
In Fast & Furious fashion, the true potential of the Saga is unveiled and it reflects the usual retribution offered in most good versus evil tales.
Overall, Saga is an excellent piece of work that justifies its price tag.
I have to note that this effort originated as a last minute entry in the 2006 MSC Malaysia Intellectual Property Creators Challenge Series.
Despite the short time frame then, the end result here show that the right fine-tuning has been done subsequently.
On the creative team, Fairul’s done a good job in knitting the plots together plus steering the artists based on their strengths. My next ride in a Saga is certainly going to feel different. Writer: Artist: IT’S been a long time since I had the urge to holler “Yo Joe!” despite the avalanche of releases by IDW and the recent box-office outing. Ironically, the urge came with this “tribute” to the most iconic G.I. Joe tale – The Silent Interlude/Issue.
Originally featured in issue #21 (Marvel, 1984), the “word-less” tale stands out (in my opinion) as the most memorable story in Joe-folklore as it featured the most popular Joe (Snake Eyes) on a solo mission to rescue Scarlett from Destro’s castle.
While Snake Eyes was the centre of attention from cover to the last panel, another reason why this tale is worth a fortune is that it also sports the debut of Storm Shadow. An attempt to up the ante was done in G.I. Joe Yearbook #3 with “Hush Job” (ironically) doing a role-reversal as Storm Shadow and Scarlett team up on a solo mission to rescue Snake Eyes. While there are a host of other “silent issues” that comes to mind (Marvel’s 9/11-inspired Nuff Said! event), G.I. Joe #21 is something else altogether.
This month’s “revisit” might just be the tonic to revive interest in “America’s Greatest Heroes” as well as provide that much needed dose of nostalgia.
With the cover a cheeky tribute by Ashley Wood to the 1984 classic, that is as far as similarities with the original go. No rescue mission, no Scarlett and no Storm Shadow – but this issue ensures another remarkable mute-outing for Snake Eyes and comics scribe Larry Hama (who also wrote the original).
After three years without any G.I. Joe adventures, I had no clue as to who the other characters were in this stand-alone tale. But the sight of Snake Eyes in free-fall mode, slicing and dicing some non-Cobra goons in a winter setting is simply magnificent.
Anyway, this being an “Origins” title, I presume the wolf featured here is Timber (Snake Eyes’ sidekick) as the tale shares the untold events of their first meeting. It doesn’t take much to digest and appreciate this issue. Hama delivers a fitting sequel to his 1980s effort while Benitez’s art is simply spellbinding. Now if only they do a Snake Eyes movie. Yo Joe!
(IDW)(US$3.99) Larry Hama Joe Benitez