Saga is back this week and given the terrible calamity of the last issue I’m sure most are dying to read this issue. Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples have managed to surprise and titillate readers for 42 issues. Can they pull off 43?!
Writer: Briahn K. Vaughan
Artist: Fiona Staples
Publisher: Image Comics
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
NEW STORY ARC BEGINS FOR JUST 25 CENTS!!! SAGA returns monthly with a brave new direction, and to celebrate Image’s 25th Anniversary, this full-sized issue costs just 25 cents! In a perfect jumping-on point for first-time readers, Hazel and her star-crossed parents embark on a thrilling new adventure at the westernmost edge of the universe.
Why does this book matter?
This issue costs 25 cents so you really have no excuse not to pick this up. It also recaps what has happened so far in the story, so if you’re new to the series it’s a great jumping on point. Plus it has some wild science fiction ideas that are enjoyable for the whole family!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue opens with a few of the characters entering Abortion Town. How’s that for a shocker? Given the tragic death of Alana’s baby last issue it certainly makes one have quite a few questions, which Vaughan adequately drags out so as to increase your interest and anticipation. The answer to why leads to a natural progression to a summary of how we got here, which in quick succession makes it clear the incredible journey these characters have already gone on. By the end of the issue it’s clear the dynamics between these characters have changed, especially with Prince Robot, which should shake things up nicely.
Surprisingly there isn’t a huge time jump to start this new story arc. That said, it’s not necessarily needed, especially given the threat Alana is under as she’s carrying a dead fetus. Tragic though it may be, there’s some strong social issues brought up in this issue that may make people uncomfortable, but they need to be said. This issue is a testament to comics that push boundaries and ultimately force a dialogue. The transgender topic is brought up again in a delicate and understandable way and that’s on top of the rather heavy topic of abortion. Whether you agree with the point of views in this book or not, it’s hard to deny this comic does a good job bringing up the topics in strong and sometimes moving ways.
The art by Staples is excellent as always with the flashback to how we got here particularly impressive. In a few panels we get the gist of what has come before as well as how romantic and tragic that story has been too. Her painterly backgrounds tend to allow the characters to pop off the page, which certainly helps when emotions flare. There are some truly disgusting monsters to battle in this issue which, while gross, aren’t offensively so.
We’re being sucked into a recap!
It can’t be perfect can it?
The two main narrative beats do focus heavily on social issues so much so I was left thinking about the issues, but not necessarily the story. As a kickoff to the new story arc you’re left with little to go on as far as where the story goes from here, though it does shakeup Alana’s character tremendously.
Is It Good?
This is a good first issue of the latest story arc, especially since it’s only 25 cents! If you like your comics with social-political issues you’re going to love this issue. Science fiction fans have some interesting elements to chew on too.