Writer: Brian K Vaughan / Artist: Fiona Staples / Image Comics
This might be a short review because I don’t want to be the one to spoil anything for you if you happen to be surfing reviews to see if the newest Saga is any good. Or, rather, is as exceptional in this issue as it has been in previous weeks. The answer to that question is a resounding yes. Actually better than in what has been (as always) a pretty damn good arc. Building up to this event, where the planet Phang is barreling towards a timesuck, anyone with means has abandoned the planet and other bureaucratic moves are taking place, everything comes together in one swift, brutal, and admirable fashion. Everyone, whether connected to the Phang storyline directly or not, gets a moment in the sun this issue, including some characters that have been gone for some time now.
What is worthy of praise this issue is how efficient the storytelling is; nothing gets lingered on for very long and we are given insights rather quickly without any overly drawn out explanation. Also, what these creators have a knack for is setting up a potential storyline and then immediately pulling the rug from under the reader. Just evidence that in this world of Saga (and any world, really) that best laid plans are just that, and nothing is designed to go as you want.
This is one of the most emotionally heavy issues of Saga in a while. Curl up in the fetal position heavy. The combination of Hazel’s narration about loving people and Staples’ articulation of characters in peril is just a solid gut punch. Repeatedly. Vaughan has been called the master of the last page before, but the final pages of this issue are… a lot. And not enough for those of us that only want this story to keep going.
Saga closes this traumatic arc in brutal fashion and gives us no indication of what is supposed to happen next. An incredible issue all the way around.
Reading Saga? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.