Goddammit Saga! Stop being so consistently entertaining! Writing unabashed praise for every issue of this thing is getting a bit boring. I’m not saying I want a crappy issue, but it would certainly be interesting, what would a bad issue of Saga look like? I can’t even comprehend that possibility. As it stands, this was another great issue of a brilliant series that did a good job of moving along not the larger plot, but of enhancing and deepening the characters.
The opening scene was a real highlight, with the two Tabloid journalists we met last issue visiting Alana’s home, and questioning her step-mother, who is basically the same age as Alana. The fact that Alana’s dad re-married someone a lot younger is an interesting bit of back-story, and that wedding photo is just hilarious. I really like how BKV is writing these realistic human families and back-stories, but putting them in amongst crazy alien species and just bringing everything to a very relatable level. That continues with the scenes set on Quietus, with Marko, Alana and the rest getting to know D. Oswald Heist, who is a drunken mess, he even pukes on poor baby Hazel, in a hilarious moment.
I loved how the hidden messages that Alana was reading into Heist’s books weren’t just her being crazy, and that he actually was writing a book meant to end the war and unite the two sides. I’m also intrigued by what Heist thinks the opposite of war is, and the discussion between him and Marko’s mother was very well written. Just like the Alana’s step-mother stuff, losing a loved-one is a very human thing that we can all relate to, and did anyone else think that Hazel’s narration indicated that Heist and Marko’s mother would get together?
The third and final plotline of the issue was The Will, Gwendolyn and Slave Girl, sorry, Sophie, waiting for their spaceship to be fixed so they can get back on the trail of our heroes. Only, The Will wants to give up the hunt and retire. I wonder what the nature of his visions of The Stalk are? Is he just crazy? Is it really her? Or is it something more sinister? The Stalk keeps egging him on to kiss Gwendolyn, and he does, but she rebuffs him. Again, more relatable human drama, but there’s a talking cat there too. In the end, one of The Will’s informants rings him up with a tip, he’s spotted Prince Robot IV, who has The Stalk’s ship, and has overheard him talking about Quietus.
We already know that Prince Robot will be on that planet at the same time as Alana and Marko, so will The Will (that’s weird to type) and his gang be there too? I was initially perturbed by the fact that these last 2 issues have flashed-back to before #12, but it’s turned out to be a very effective technique. Note to self, do not question the choices of Bryan K Vaughan.
Fiona Staples’ art was once again magnificent, and I feel I should mention that she’s also the colourist of this book, and not only that, but the colours here are among the best in all of comics. She’s pulling double=duty here, and it’s making for a beautiful comic. Throw in another strange Saga survey, and this book has it all, as I said, it’s getting boring constantly praising, but what else can you do?