Brian K. Vaughan’s Saga makes its third appearance this week, and not a minute too soon. Despite only being in its infancy, Saga has quickly become one of my favorite comic books, and every passing week where a new edition is not released is one where I remain a sad panda. This week is thankfully not one of those weeks, so now we get to take a peek and ask ourselves the question we pose every week, Is It Good?
Saga #3 (Image)
Issue 3 picks up where issue 2 left off, with Alana and a near unconscious Marko encountering the Horrors, a group of ethereal, disemboweled ghost children that The Stalk seemed peculiarly perturbed by. However, upon first meeting them they seem harmless enough, if not spooky as all hell. Alana begs for her and her family’s life, and the de facto leader of the Horrors (who we later find out is named Izabel) assures that Mark is in fact not dead.
Something about children, even corporeal, living, breathing ones, freak me out. You know, smell like cabbage. Small hands.
Both the appearance of these ghosts as well as their demeanor come as a slight surprise given their introduction at the end of issue 2, but they inject even more sharp wit and enjoyable humor into the series. Izabel especially is a jewel of a character:
Right from the get-go you get the feeling that this issue is mainly going to flesh out Alana’s escape plan and thusly focus mainly on her and Izabel, and you’re right. While we do catch glimpses of what’s going on with The Stalk and The Will, the bulk of this issue is concerning Alana, Marko and of course their baby Hazel.
I know Stalk, I’m sorry. Maybe next issue you’ll get more time to ward off strange Bebop/Rocksteady amalgamations.
Can’t live with ’em…and that’s it!
And we do get that concrete course of action, which involves Izabel divulging that she will be able to bring Marko back to good health…for a price. Izabel, like Alana and Marko, desperately wants to leave the planet to which she is bound, but to do that she must bind herself to the soul of a native of the planet. And which one in this motley crew is an actual, honest-to-goodness native of this godforsaken rock?
The baby. It’s always the baby.
So we have our story set up for presumably the next couple of issues, which should be interesting to see how it pans out. The art in this issue is gorgeous as always. Fiona Staples’ eye for color and emotion is second to none, and it really shows in this book. The subject matter of the series is very out of this world, and its depiction of the surreal and all things disjointed from our realm of reality is both intriguing and appealing, and not in a stereotypical ,”Far far away,” garden variety science fiction-ish way, either. It’s all very refreshing and beautiful, to the point where even if the story absolutely sucked, the book would probably still be worth picking up. Thankfully that’s not the case, and Vaughan’s story is just as original and compelling as the artwork.
The use of handwriting to denote Hazel’s narration is a nice touch, and it’s definitely interesting to hear her recount her own first days as a living being. It’s used sparingly enough that it’s not at all a crutch, but instead sprinkled in at just the right moments to progress the story in a way action scenes alone could not.
Once again the book ends on an out-of-left-field cliffhanger which makes me and I’m assuming every other fan of this series salivate at the very thought, constantly checking their calendar for the next issue’s release (it’s June 20th, by the way. Set your alarm now.) I won’t spoil it, but rest assured Vaughan is doing a great job of weaving many different stories and character arcs into one solid series, but what do you expect from the man who had carefully woven Y: the Last Man‘s universe prior to this series?
If for some bizarre reason you’re on the fence about buying this after reading the first two, let me be your shepherd. This series is great and it’s only going to get greater, so you really don’t want to miss one frame of it. So, is it good? In a word: Yes. Get it. Now.