Amid a spot of controversy, Saga #12 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples makes its way to shelves. Does it live up to the hullabaloo? Here! Have a review!


CoverSagaSAGA #12
Writer: Brian K. Vaughn
Artist: Fiona Staples
Letterer: Fonografiks
Editor: Eric Stephenson
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $2.99

Previously in Saga: Alana and Marko not only had a sexy-time flashback, but discussed in said flashback what having a baby would mean for the both of them. Readers were also treated to a tender scene from Marko’s childhood, where he first learns how to ride. Although, in the heartbreaking final pages, Marko and Klara lose Barr after he fought to keep their ship together.


Spotlight on Prince Robot IV this time around as he attempts to chase down Marko, Alana and Hazel in his own way. Landing on Quietus, IV seeks out D. Oswald Heist the writer of Alana’s favorite book A Nighttime Smoke. Having a nightmare of his experience at Threshold None has put him a bit on edge, where one thing leads to another and hilarity ensues as guns are drawn between the violent IV and Heist, who’s own son had been a soldier in the ongoing battle.

Vaughn is tackling some interesting subject matter in the character of Prince Robot IV. This book opens with a flashback IV has, as a mouse-like medic dies after saving his life. Throughout the book, Vaughn continues to have IV exhibit a number of symptoms associated with PTSD, such as nightmares, flashbacks, and various mental health problems, which, in this case, means irritability and suicidal tendencies. Vaughn is putting a very real problem that needs to be addressed at the forefront and he’s doing it without being preachy. It’s a very strong way to develop IV’s character. He exhibits only the symptoms and is never officially diagnosed, letting his actions speak for themselves.

In one issue, he’s become an incredibly fascinating character. And a human one, at that.


Staples continues to wow with her art. No matter what sort of plot or story Vaughn throws out, she more than keeps up her very artistic end. Staples manages to create very expressive characters that may not necessarily have features that can register as ‘expressive.’ She’s able to make even someone with a TV for a head have features and emotions when he is literally a blank screen at the moment. And it’s still amazing that she does this all on her own and all on a tablet.

Given that she does it all by herself on a tablet makes her a comic illustrator goddess.

It should be addressed that this is the ‘controversial’ issue that supposedly wasn’t going to be released on Comixology. Why exactly? Robot IV’s TV screen flickers two scenes of sex that can be construed as pornographic. These scenes are tiny, at best, and last all of one panel each. And, since they are on IV’s screen, they don’t even take up the whole panel. It really isn’t that big of a deal. Considering these comics really wouldn’t, and shouldn’t, appeal to audiences of a more sensitive nature, getting upset about them is a bit ridiculous.


Vaughn and Staples continue to be a powerhouse in the comic world and Saga yet again lives up to its reputation. Delving into the very human issues of PTSD, Vaughn breathes further life into his characters with Staples being more than able to keep up stellar work each and every time. Pushing past the controversy surrounding two very tiny images, this book is yet another beautiful chapter in the Saga saga and should be picked up by anyone who’s been tuning in so far. Overall, Saga #12 earns 4 out of 5 stars.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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About Author

Danielle Luaulu lives in San Francisco where she constantly toes the line between nerd and lady. As a teenager, she fell in love with Sandman’s Morpheus and started wearing lots of black. Now, she's a graduate of SFSU where she studied creative writing and lives vicariously through her level 10 drow bard. She has a love and fascination for all things super and natural, as well as supernatural. Comics are her life, as well as playing games in which she gets to be the hero or villain or a combination of both. Depends on her mood.

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