So last issue was certainly something else, wasn’t it? Not only did we get a few shockers that we were and weren’t expecting, the story also finally got moving as well after wandering around for a bit. How about this issue? What will we see this time? Is it good?
Saga #23 (Image Comics)
After Marko runs to Ginny’s house to crash after being kicked out, Alana is called out on her drug use by Izabel. Meanwhile, the floating talking bush alien lady that pushed drugs tries to save her own skin by ratting out Alana and Marko to Dengo, who still wants time to air his grievances.
After last issue dropped a lot of surprises on the audience and also hit them with some big emotional stings, this issue takes a step back. Its focuses more on the aftermath of everyone’s decisions and how they are doing right afterwards, which isn’t really a bad thing to do, though the comic does come away feeling like a cheesy TV drama or soap opera. Honestly, a couple of scenes get downright silly unintentionally (like Izabel suddenly going off on a speech about her past or basically all of the time Marko and Ginny are together) and it kind of pulls you out. There are, however, good moments here where the emotion rings true, like when Izabel first starts calling out Alana on her bullshit, but a lot of the drama here is kind of problematic.
As for the rest of the story, it’s alright. It just feels more like setup, since it feels like it’s just moving characters into place for next time. It also feels a tad rushed and hollow in some areas as well, in particular when Marko and Alana had the realization that they’ve both been idiots. It just feels sudden and artificial, like Vaughan realized he needed to get the audience back on their side and have them move past their problems a bit. It’s got a solid ending though that does show a ton of promise for an exciting conclusion next time.
Dammit. Daytime TV has invaded my comics!
Outside of Marko and Alana, there’s not much characterization or development anyone outside of one individual: that drug pushing plant woman, who sells out the main characters and their daughter to Dengo because she’s a coward. Then immediately after being shot, she tries to redeem herself by trying to warn them… though it really doesn’t resonate at all (sort of like that mechanic guy all the way back in the first issue). The dialogue is alright, though it’s a bit cheesy and forgettable in different areas. The pacing is fine, though again, character growth and realization feels like it’s on fast-forward. The story flows well from scene to scene, with no awkward transitions or anything.
Fiona Staples’ artwork is good as usual. The characters look decent and are very expressive, the coloring is nice, the layouts are good, and it’s able to convey emotion and serious moments fairly well at points. Its only real weakness this issue was that there wasn’t anything particularly memorable or striking in the artwork like previous issues. Nothing that’s awe-inspiring or even shockingly gross. Still, that’s not necessarily a bad thing and the artwork still looks solid overall here.
My inner Lying Cat says you’re a liar and that’s that!
Is It Good?
Saga #23 is a bit of a low for this arc, slowing things down and setting all the pieces into place for the next. Some of the writing is problematic and rushed in areas, but it’s not particularly bad either and the artwork still looks fine. Far from the best issue of the series, but it can always easily turn around in the next, so stay tuned.