Saga is BACK, y’all’s! After what feels like an eternity, the Eisner Award winning series returns with issue #13, complete with new thrills, new chills, and a whole lot of perfectly placed profanity.
Given the massive cliffhanger of last issue, with Prince Robot IV in spitting distance of Alana and Marko, I expected #13 to dive right into that set up. Instead, writer Brain K. Vaughn chooses to backtrack a bit in order to fully flesh out how they all got to author D. Oswald Heist’s in the first place. Tease! Yes, this is cruel given the long delay between issues, but BKV still delivers the Saga we all know and love. Vaughn’s gift for understanding his characters is on fine display here as he marries the usual clever banter with deep introspection. Marko is still numb from the fallout of The Will’s attack, while The Will himself is affected and shaped from the events that transpired. There’s growth in this issue, which is important considering that the plot itself is pretty bare.
My expectations were probably a bit high going into #13, but aside from a few choice scenes we don’t get very far. Still, there’s enough filling of the blanks to get us where we know we need to go, and like with every issue there are plenty of memorable set pieces. As mentioned previously, the characters take a few steps forward as well; my enjoyment of The Will was originally linked to Lying Cat, because, well, he’s a talking cat, but his relationship with Slave Girl in recent issues has made him all the more engaging. If that’s not enough, Vaughn also crafts one of the greatest entrances in all of comics, that panel alone the highlight of the issue.
On art, Fiona Staples continues to amaze with her crisp pencils and simple but effective colors. Comic art doesn’t get much better, and my investment in the characters and their world is due to Staples just as much as Vaughn. By now I’m at the point where I can’t imagine another artist doing this book, so if a hiatus is what’s needed to keep this duo together I’ll happily take those weeks of withdrawal.
Saga is back, and I’d be lyyyying if I said I didn’t miss it. Though issue #13 is a bit slow by comparison, it still trumps most other books out there. Vaughn and Staples have returned in fine form, Saga once again at the tippy top of “must read.”