REVIEW: Saga #17
Saga is the tale of Alana and Marko, two lovers from warring worlds—Landfall and its moon, Wreath. Their baby, Hazel, narrates their journeys through a war torn galaxy. Along the way, the family is joined by Izabel, a ghost babysitter, and Marko’s mother, Klara. It is a Romeo and Juliet space opera, filled with unique characters and fascinating scenery. The series blends elements of science fiction and fantasy, with a hint of politics and humanism. After escaping the clutches of mercenary Freelancers looking to kill them, the group arrives at Quietus and meet Alana’s idol, D. Oswald Heist.
Great turning point comic in the series
Wonderful character development
Artwork is less imaginative than previous issues
Focus moves away from the main characters
Previously in Saga: Marko, Alana, and their group stay on Quietus in Oswald’s lighthouse. When Prince Robot IV arrives at Oswald’s home, he greets him while the rest of the group hides. After a lengthy conversation, the prince shoots Oswald in the knee caps. Meanwhile, The Will, Gwendolyn, Sophie, and Lying Cat are on a mysterious planet to repair the ship. Once the ship is repaired, The Will renews his hunt for Alana and Marko. However, the food they ate was a hallucinogenic, causing Sophie to stab The Will in the neck. Without any other choice, they rush to Quietus to seek Marko’s healing expertise. Also, Upher and Doff, two reporters from Jetsam, continue to track Alana, thinking there is a big news story.
A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS
Brian K. Vaughan continues his story about two star-crossed lovers with Saga #17. Things come to a head when Klara, Marko’s mother, attempts to save Oswald from Prince Robot IV. Meanwhile, outside of the lighthouse, Gwendolyn hears gunshots and rushes into Oswald’s home. These scenes are extremely chaotic at the end. One poor decision leads to another. However, the writer keeps everything together nicely, allowing the action to be evenly paced and easy to follow. Amidst all this chaos and suspense is a lesson in philosophy. Oswald poses a question, “What is the opposite of war?” to Prince Robot IV. The answer is surprising, causing the prince to pause for a moment. Even at the prince’s mercy, Oswald shows great courage and strength, relying on his wits to stall for time. There is also an interesting scene where Marko talks to Alana about Prince Robot IV’s race and what they do to captured Wreath soldiers. He makes them out as calculating killing machines, which they are not. Besides this scene, there is little focus on Marko and Alana, who are the main characters of Saga. It is nice to spotlight supporting characters, but this is a story about their journey. However, after this issue it looks like this plot will involve fewer characters.
GREAT CHAOTIC VISUALS
Fiona Staples provides some great action sequences in this issue. They are fluid and sudden, filling the pages with power and emotion. The characters’ facial expressions play a key role in conveying the suspenseful nature of the ending scenes. Since most of the action occurs in Quietus, there are few opportunities to expand the Saga universe. Although not as imaginative as her previous works in this series, it is still superb artwork.
BOTTOM LINE: A GREAT WORK OF SCIENCE FICTION
Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples create a turning point with this comic in their Saga series. The last couple of issues had our characters in a lull, but not anymore. Brian K. Vaughan continues write some great plot material while Fiona Staples bring Saga’s story to life. The ending of this issue will have repercussions for all the characters in the future. It is a fantastic read for any comic and science fiction fan.