Since April 10th we’ve all been wondering what Alana and Marko were going to do with Prince Robot IV ready to kill some asses a few feet away. The wait is over! Let’s take a look at the latest issue as this series gets back on a monthly schedule (for the foreseeable future). Is it good?
Saga #13 (Image Comics)
Check out our review of #9 here.
This is a great place to start reading if you’re new to this series but don’t want to read the issues prior. A full page is used to open the book as a soldier recounts what happened to him and his team to a reporter. It then delivers another page from the narrator who just so happens to be the main characters’ baby. Writer Brian K. Vaughan does a great job with the exposition here letting us know where the characters stand, but not in such a way to bore or drag things out.
Even if you got wings you can be homeless.
The characters are dealing with the fallout of the last issue, but note that the last page of Saga #12, where our heroes were waiting for Prince Robot IV to leave or blow someone’s head off a few feet away is still in the future here. Instead, Vaughn has decided to recount how the characters reached the writer who graces the cover. It’s an effective way to flesh out the story but also catch everyone up to speed. It has been four months since the last issue, after all.
Love those facial expressions and body language!
The story progresses too, even though it’s taking a step back in time. That’s because the soldier who’s recapping things for us is talking to the press. Two new characters (seen below) who probably won’t have a very happy life in the near future. That’s because Prince Robot IV is on a mission to ensure nobody knows two people from the warring nations of Landfall Coalition and a Wreath had a baby. It seems Vaughn may be adding in these new characters now, which should expand on the universe a bit. So far we’ve only followed The Will, Prince Robot IV and Marko’s groups who have all been rather contained. The press should open up how the universe is perceiving these warring nations nicely.
This issue also delivers a nice moment between Alana and Marko’s mother. It astounds me how well Vaughn captures character development in the most subtle of ways. This is in part due to Fiona Staples’ impeccable ability to capture emotion in the slightest of facial expressions. Her skill pulls you in making you feel for and with these characters.
This is no TMZ. Or is it?
- Characters are developing nicely
- Great jumping on point for new readers
- The art is always telling the story too
- All the recap might annoy those dying for more
Included with all that is an interesting story progression for The Will and a bit of action thrown in too. Animated skeletons known as bone bugs, anyone? Really the only downside to an issue like this is all the recap. I’m sure there are readers out there who are dying for more, so the three or four pages used up to explain what’s going on might annoy some folks. That said, you can’t please everyone and once again this series continues to shine.
In a crazy way, this issue reminds me of Half Past Danger #4 which also came out this week, only it’s doing the opposite just as well. That comic was all one big action sequence, while this is mostly dialogue and exposition, yet they both are paced incredibly well with great art and great character tinges. Some comics balance action and exposition perfectly, while these two are examples of doing mostly one or the other. It goes to show you there is no one way to write and draw a comic as long as the creators are at the top of their game.
Is It Good?
Yes! Once again we’ve had to wait for this comic, but it was well worth the wait for such a quality book.
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