With its kickstarter campaign currently in full swing for the oversized collected edition, this week we thought we’d check out Samuel George London and Mikael Hankonen’s The Milford Green saga. Is this series, about a Victorian village bearing witness to an alien Invasion, out of this world?
In Milford Green, the prettiest village in the British Empire, young Alfie spends his days inventing while pining for Mary Wells, the daughter of Alfie’s literary mentor. However, life in this quiet village takes an otherworldly turn when Alfie witnesses a spaceship crash land nearby. When the pilot’s last request is for Alfie to return a powerful artefact to his people, it sparks the beginnings of an epic adventure which sees Alfie and Mary travel to the farthest reaches of the galaxy and back again as they attempt to bring about peace on an intergalactic scale and protect their home village from destruction and slavery.
Samuel George London has produced a truly enjoyable story through this series, one that carries a very innocent and hopeful feel. As a result, The Milford Green Saga imbues a vibe that is felt in epic sci-fi movies like John Carter, Flash Gordon and Jupiter Ascending. What really helps sell this series is the characterisation, as the various personalities (particularly the leads) come across as so sincere and good natured that it is difficult not to root for them.
That said, Mary’s early depiction feels a little acerbic (although this could be with good reason and seems to mellow as the story progresses) while the Villains have quite a two dimensional, moustache-twirling feel to them. However, these flaws could simply stem from London finding his feet on series for his characterisation greatly improves from issue to issue as the story flows better with each subsequent instalment. Therefore, from Alfie and Mary to Rongara and beyond, almost all of the protagonists display a likability which helped keep me invested in the ongoing drama.
Of course, the characters and story aren’t the only hooks as Mikael Hankonen does a superb job providing some truly (inter)stellar art. What makes Hankonen’s work really great is how he seemingly marries two very different visual tones. This is shown through each issue as issue 1 gives off a very classic but timeless look, similar to a Heart of Time but with a lighter colour scheme. However, issue 2 turns a complete 180 as the art goes for a more vibrant and loud look, giving off a very sci-fi, almost Tron-esque appearance. But then issue 3 really shows Hankonen’s skill as he takes those two different styles and utilises them seamlessly throughout the final instalment. What makes his work even more remarkable though comes from his character designs as, despite the outlandish premise, they never veer towards an exaggerated look, allowing the characters to express a more emotional story.
The Milford Green Saga is a touching and light hearted space adventure which never forgets that the character relationships are at the heart of it’s story. With some terrific writing, gorgeous visuals and some truly amazing and informative back matter, this saga is an investment that is well worth your time.