Published by Image Comics
Writers: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Fiona Staples
Cover Art: Fiona Staples
A review by Jake Morris.
“You have to be brave before you can be good.”
A quote that can be found in one of the many mesmerising panels in the twentieth issue of Saga. While it does speak of a current situation within the book, it also, perhaps, speaks of the book’s success itself. Despite Brian K. Vaughan’s previous work, Saga was always a different breed. A space opera. One that writers often dare not attempt in fear that they be treading on sacred ground (ala a franchise ending in Wars and starting in Star). Brave though the series has been since it began, brave it continues to be, and with that we are blessed with something altogether better than good.
Issue twenty brings forth a location hopping entry, covering the various story threads laid out by both BKV and Fiona Staples. From a Prince Robot IV currently, how best to put it? Out of order? To some interesting plot points focusing on Marko and Alana. It has not been the most common of occurrences to see the ‘happy’ couple engaging in separate scenarios in the past issues but it certainly works for the better here.
Marko has teetered on some underlying potential points that BKV teased at, and while the dialogue is perfect, it leaves a sense of dread in your gut. Alana, however, gets a shot at showing off her individuality that has not been most evident in her current escapades of motherhood and fleeing through space.
All of this is wonderfully achieved through the ever reliable art of Fiona Staples. Not being locked to the confines of a world that is the norm for readers allows for Staples to be expressive and go wild. Alana getting high on some form of space drug is a beautiful piece of work spanning two pages and a particular high point. Though not much gets better than seeing the progression of Hazel as not only a vehicle for the story’s progression, but also in how her character develops with the art. With time jumping forward after the book’s hiatus, it is nice to see Hazel becoming much more involved in proceedings.
The issue isn’t without its low points however. The ending does leave readers with a bit of a cliffhanger, but the way in which it ends comes across as an attempt to claim a shock after having such normality across the previous pages. That said, the new villainous character introduced may just be the biggest threat yet, and for once, they appear to have a different agenda than to just hunt down Hazel, Alana and Marko.
A solid read. If you are not reading Saga, why the heck not?
Jake is a contributing writer for Drunk On Comics. You can follow him on Twitter at @JakeUtd.