Story by Brian K. Vaughan
Art by Fiona Staples
Letters by Fonografiks
Published by Image Comics
WARNING: SPOILERS! BIG NASTY SPOILERS!
Last time, Hazel, Izabel, and Klara were being held in a Landfall prison after years of separation from their family. In this issue, Alana and Marko search for their lost daughter. This newest issue contains a heist, action-packed drama, and the return of fan favorite characters.
The first 16 pages of the issue are of Alana and Marko breaking into a building and searching for clues to where Hazel has been taken. This scene is not only action-packed, but demonstrates the couple’s relationship. Alana is spunky, playful, and willing to fight back. Marko is strong-willed yet also a pacifist–he refuses to even fight with his fists and instead uses sleeping dust to knockout a guard. Despite their differing personalities, the two work together like a well-oiled machine to overcome obstacles. It’s a truly powerful statement of their relationship, fueled by love and driven by the determination to save their daughter. Brian Vaughan effortlessly blends in these character-driven elements with the action sequences. A good example is this panel:
Alana’s smile has so much mirth and excitement. It’s like she’s saying, “Yeah, this is crazy. But what did you expect?” After that, Marko jumps out and grabs her, and they both manage to land in the flying tree ship. The conflation of action and drama here symbolizes that Marko and Alana’s relationship is crazy, but it works. No matter the obstacle, their love for each other ultimately wins. This makes both the drama and action feel much more meaningful, neither outshines the other, and it tells more than dialogue could.
The cover already attests to how Staples’ art is amazing, but the interior art really sells it. Her ability to create imaginative characters is extraordinary. This in large part is due to her mastery of anatomy and color. She avoids the pitfalls of repeated body types and faces, instead drawing outlandishly designed characters brought to life by simple yet eye-catching colors. No matter how minor a character they are, they attract the reader’s attention. These characters have a sublime effect. The reader, enthralled by their design, wants to know them. The reader make up origins for them, imagines what their voices sound like, and other peculiar aspects of their being. This kind of sensation is rare and can only be achieved by a truly great artist.
Another element of Staples’ art that shines is the sense of movement during the epic heist. Although they are rare, action scenes in Saga are exciting and have kinetic energy. Characters and objects don’t feel stiff but naturally moving. When characters enter a new scene, there is no awkward feeling that they just popped into it. The reader feels as though the story organically transitions to it. Fight scenes aren’t cluttered but evenly spaced out, giving the reader a full view. With this full view, there is more of a sense of impact, like Staples wants the reader to feel something. The heist isn’t just a flashy action sequence but adds meaning to the story. If Vaughan is intricately fusing action and drama for a deeper story, Staples is the one fleshing out its full potential.
The comic concludes by reintroducing fan favorite characters Ghus and Prince Robot IV, now Sir Robot due to a dishonorable demotion from his father. Also appearing is IV’s son, Squire. Aside from funny banter, the conclusion also hints at bigger things to come. Will IV help Alana and Marko on their quest? Will they actually save Hazel? Readers will have to wait, but whatever is on the horizon, it’s going to be great.
With fantastic art and storytelling, this action-packed issue of Saga is sure to satisfy fans and have them eagerly waiting for next month. Simply put, it’s amazing!