The story of Saga (is that a tautology?) finally catches up to the very end of #12, and man, this shit just got real. Marko, Alana and the rest of their family, along with Prince Robot IV and Gwendolyn and The Will are all in the same place at the same time, and as expected, BKV makes things happen in a big way.
However, we begin away from Quietus, with more of the Tabloid journalists, Upsher and Dorff, and, as well as getting explicit confirmation that they are lovers, we are introduced to the mysterious ‘The Brand’, the freelancer who has been hired to take them out. He doesn’t kill them though, he instead doses them with a poison called ‘Embargon’ which means that, if they ever do spill the beans about Marko and Alana, they will die then. It’s interesting that The Brand doesn’t kill them right away, and he does seem like an interesting new character, just visually. He wears a cool helmet, and seems to be rather androgynous, as he wears lipstick and women’s shoes. He also has a pet, much like Lying Cat, in his case, a giant red dog who seems to be able to fire poisonous darts from it’s nose. The ending of that scene was weird, as The Brand slashes at something, but we don’t see what it was, did he end up killing the journalists after all? I have no idea.
The main meat of the story however is of course back on Quietus, as Prince Robot continues to interrogate/torture Heist, with Marko, Alana et al cowering upstairs, trying to figure a way out. Gwendolyn and Lying Cat are standing on a cliff nearby, trying to work out what’s going on. Robot IV and Heist start talking about the title of Heist’s new novel, ‘The Opposite Of War’, and how that opposite is not peace. Heist asks Robot what he saw during a near-death experience, and it’s revealed that what he saw was his entire army platoon in a massive orgy. It turns out that ‘the opposite of war… is fucking’, and I can’t decide whether that makes sense or not. I suppose it explains those controversial scenes in #12, where Robot’s head had all of those blowjobs on it. At the time, I thought that was a bit unnecessary, but now I see that it’s all part of the plan.
Just as Robot realises this, Klara comes down to try and save Heist, as well, the only escape is through the front door. I did feel that Marko being willing to kill Hazel to keep her away from Prince Robot was a bit strong, but then it looks like the Robots are well known amongst his people for their brutality against ‘moonies’, something Alana’s side of the war doesn’t know. With The Brand’s comments at the start, it looks like there are a lot of hidden truths out there. Robot blasts Klara, Heist shoots him, and that chaos brings Gwendolyn into the fray, and things get even crazier. She bursts in the door, kills Heis with her stretchy-sword-thing, and is then blasted by Klara, and basically everything is fucked. Plus, Prince Robot IV isn’t dead, he’s just rebooting…
The last few pages of this issue were absolutely mental, and made up for the long wait to get to this point, I was very shocked by Heist’s death, and by what’s coming next. Throw in the introduction of The Brand, a touching scene with The Will and Slave Girl, along with Fiona Staples’ ever-excellent art, and this was just what we’ve come to expect from Saga, just pure awesomeness every month.