Brian K. Vaughan’s newest epic, Saga, has started off strong. With war torn alien lovers and their daughter being chased down by the government they defected from, where can we go from here?
Previously in Saga: Baby Hazel was born to Alana and Marko, members of waring races that fell in love while Marko was in captivity. Neither side sees this as a good thing and now everyone is after them, including bounty hunters and robo-royalty. While trying to get off the planet Cleave, they are in the Endless Woods where Marko has been fatally injured by The Stalk, one of the bounty hunters, though she ran when she heard the Horrors of the Endless Woods, leaving the young family surrounded.
MUST FIND SNOW
So those Horrors we mentioned earlier, turns out their not so much horrible as they are the ghosts of the natives that have died and become the “Spiritual Defenders of Cleave”. After the necessary exposition/argument most of the ghosts just wander off. One though, stays and offers to help get the ingredient needed to heal Marko, snow, for a price, passage off the planet. Of course there’s a catch here, in order to leave Cleave, she must be bonded to the soul of a living native, and the only one present is the three-day-old Hazel.
Meanwhile, there are a number of people trying to figure out what happened to set up this family, one of which is Prince Robot IV and he is interrogating one of the other prisoners Alana was a guard for. The exchange here is fantastic as Prince Robot gets angry with the prisoner for not providing info and mocking his people. A large part of what makes this sequence great is the fact that the prince’s head is T.V. monitor and yet we can still get all of the emotion off of him with mostly blank screens and body language. It also gives us more of a glimpse into the parties involved in he war and what kind of person Prince Robot really is.
The other group pursuing the family are some bounty hunters, and they get a bit more focus here as well. The two primaries are The Stalk and The Will. The Stalk was chased off by the Horrors last time and is now running from giant boars. She’s calling The Will for help and we get an exchange showing they have a ton of history together, presumably ex-lovers amongst other things. Again, we are getting good insight into the characters here, just building up what is likely to be a crucial part of the story before too long.
The rest of the book focuses on Alana and trying to save her husband. We get the ghosts name, Izabel, and back story, died stepping on a land mine, was child of freedom fighters, oldest of seven. Eventually Alana relents, allowing Izabel to bond with Hazel after finding out it will only hurt the day it ends. Finally, we end up with yet another cliffhanger reveal at the end that just leaves me wanting more.
EXPRESSIONS ON A LACK OF FACE
Staples is amazing. Like I said above, she manages to show what Prince Robot is thinking and feeling without having a face to work with. Add to this the fact that she is good with faces and expression when she has them to work with. Even the backgrounds are subtle and gorgeous. I have nothing here not worth looking at.
BOTTOM LINE: Get the next printing
Saga is going to be a fantastic piece when it’s completed. At this point it’s already amazing and we are only in issue three. This issue issue even fixes the one problem I had previously, Hazel as the narrator. With the addition of the ghost concept, it even allows for her to die and still be able to tell this story, even if it may be the story of her parents after awhile. Saga delivers it all here, and I am happy to give it 5 of 5 stars.