With this being the last issue of Saga until May (fucking May!) it has a lot to do and a lot to live up to, and it pretty much did, wrapping up the chaotic ending of #17 very well, and ending in a fantastic place that sets us up for the future brilliantly, and has me wanting #19, not in bloomin’ May.
BKV picks things up in the midst of the crazy situaton at Heist’s lighthouse, Heist is dead, everything is on fire and Alana and Marko are backed into a corner. Marko’s mother is also in trouble, as she’s face to face with Lying Cat. Luckily, Izabel knows a thing or two about Lying Cats, and manages to make it shoo. There’s some stuff about the Cat being a runt and having some kind of tragic back-story here, but I don’t care, I have no interest in this overrated feline. However, just when Izabel thinks she’s solved that problem… Prince Robot IV shows up. But in an interesting twist, Robot is all fucked up and seems to have defaulted to basic, factory settings. This means that once again we get some porn on his screen-face, but also that Izabel is able to get him to take Marko’s mom away from the fire, before he wanders off in a daze.
The real meat of the issue comes when Gwendolyn confronts Marko and Alana, in a very emotional scene, where we see just how upset she was at Marko breaking her heart, but also that The Will’s love for her is not as unrequited as we thought. She asks Marko to tell her how to save The Will, but the magical methods he knows will only work on his and Gwendolyn’s kind. She’s about to kill Alana, when Marko pushes her and Hazel off the roof, presumably to their deaths, sparing them a worse fate. We saw Marko contemplate this last issue, but I didn’t think he’d actually do it, but then of course, they aren’t dead, and we see that Alana’s wings aren’t quite as vestigial as she said. She knocks Gwendolyn out, and it’s time for some epilogues.
The first one sees the return of Upsher and Doff, who are trying to work their way around the Embargon poison that is stopping them from reporting on Marko and Alana. Their boss at the newspaper tells them that there’s a story out there involving the missing Prince Robot IV, and they realise that they can continue their investigation from this angle, without getting killed. I’m glad that these two characters are sticking around, because last issue it looked like The Brand had ended their involvement.
Speaking of The Brand, we see her again here, visiting The Will in hospital, and I say her because in this issue we have her gender confirmed. In #17 I thought The Brand was an androgynous man, but nope, she’s a woman, and not only that, she’s The Will’s sister, and her name is Sophie, which explains why he gave that name to Slave Girl. We also learn The Will’s real name, and it’s Billy, which is both obvious and surprising at the same time. Gwendolyn, Lying Cat and the other Sophie are watching from a distance, but their future looks uncertain at this point, and Hazel’s narration seems to indicate that we won’t see them for a while. It looks like Saga is going to be quite different when it returns, and the last page shows a little bit of just how different, as the series jumps forward in time, with Hazel now a toddler and walking around.
This was another typically excellent issue, with fantastic art from Staples that was made even better by the surprising ending. I can’t wait to see what’s happened in the intervening 2 years and what the other characters are like. It’s going to be a long wait, but it’s going to be worth it. If for some god-forsaken reason you haven’t read Saga yet, use this 3-month gap to read all 3 trades, you won’t regret it.