The tricky business about serial stories like Lost or Saga (how many of you are angry I used those two in the same sentence?) is that if you’re not consistently consuming the content the entertainment value drops considerably. While everyone and their mother seems to be reading this series it’s a tough comic to review because of this and must be reviewed with the idea that you’ve read the last issue (and all the issues before that). That said there can still be bad installments, so how is issue #35? Is it good?
Saga #35 (Image Comics)
Hazel, the child of Alana and Marko, is stranded from her parents and is of mixed species which is a huge issue for a lot of folks for a lot of reasons, not least of which being that their species are at war and have been for some time. The military–industrial complex certainly doesn’t want folks thinking these species can be friends, let alone lovers. Thi makes it infinitely harder for them to get her back since she’s in a prison and hiding her secret from her captors. At the same time Prince Robot IV is aiding them and The Will is attempting to find them to enact some vengeance.
Why does this book matter?
Brian K. Vaughan is a maestro of dialogue and plotting while artist Fiona Staples has managed to prove there isn’t a facial expression or character reaction she can’t make you fall in love with. Together they’ve made one of the most iconic science fiction comics ever that’s beloved by all. They can’t screw this train up now!
Everybody loves pizza.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue opens with our captive journalists (is everyone captive these days?) attempting to help The Will find Prince Robot or face execution. The stakes are very high for them especially when they’re giving away juicy gossip for a tip on Prince Robot’s location. Vaughan does a good job making the reader uneasy with this situation since The Will is communicating with his ex girlfriend who’s very dead and we’ve grown to like these journalist characters.
From there the story pinballs to Alana, Marko and Prince Robot as they plan their child-heist of Hazel. Prince Robot’s arrogant nature continues to be a comical staple of the series and it’s fun to see the characters discuss their plan and enact it. Branching from there is Hazel’s storyline in the prison as her teacher Noreen attempts to carry her own plot to get Hazel out. As always the story fluidly moves from one storyline to the other as we greatly anticipate all three coming together.
The best scene in this issue is one between Marko and Alana as the “they’re still in love” train continues. There’s a sweet moment that reminds us this is a love story at its core and it’s a nice moment that feels very genuine.
Staples continues to do great things with this book and that genuine feeling is in large part due to characters saying more with their facial expressions than the dialogue ever could. This issue doesn’t have a shock moment like so many before it, but there’s a fun new threat, an interesting club scene, and even another Lying Cat!
It can’t be perfect can it?
While it’s always good to check in on characters I didn’t feel the Hazel scenes added much to the story. In four or so pages (pages are like gold, they can’t be wasted) we get what amounts to characters coming to a realization we saw coming. Hazel explains what happened to her grandmother (which we already saw) and she reacts as you’d expect. It’s not a terrible sequence, but it certainly leaves you wanting more.
That’s pretty funny.
Is It Good?
Aside from a somewhat boring four page sequence this issue moves at a fast clip progressing the storylines nicely. Above all else there’s fun dialogue that bounces back and forth.