Marco and Alanna’s family has been forcibly separated by forces beyond their control.
No way that’s going to last… Your Major Spoilers review of Saga #25 awaits!
Previously in Saga: Marco and Alanna come from warring planets, but fell in love and had a child who bears the mark of both of their people (His folk have horns, hers have wings, and the biblical implications are intentional, thank you.) Due to complex series of events, Alanna, their daughter Hazel and Marko’s mother, Klara, have been kidnapped by a clearly insane man/TV-headed creature named Dengo, who has also taken Prince Robot IV’s infant son. Marko and The Prince have entered into a very tenuous alliance to find and return their children at all costs, even if it means not killing one another the way they really, really want to…
THREE MONTHS LATER
It’s been a bit since the end of the last arc of Saga, and I’ve been champing at the metaphorical bit to find out what has happened with all the denizens of the star-faring world they inhabit. This issue doesn’t disappoint, opening with baby Hazel’s narration explaining more about the history of the Wrath/Landfall war and the effect it has had not only on her parents’ respective home worldds, but the greater universe. We then find out (kind of shockingly) that it has been several months since she was taken, months during which her mother and grandmother have been captive, but both Klara and Alanna have had enough. The wonderful part of Vaughan’s story is it’s scope, and the way the time-skips enhance that feeling of “real life”, with events taking place off-panel between issues. Also interesting, twenty-five issues in, and we’ve got nearly a dozen characters to keep up with, as we also join a freelance assassin called The Brand, Marko’s ex-fiancee and an escaped slave girl on their quest to save another assassin called The Will, then jump back across the galaxy to see how badly Marko and Robot are getting along. Then, Bryan K. Vaughan stabs me in the heart with a single sentence…
BRYAN K. VAUGHAN HATES ME
“…it would be years before the two of us would see each other again.” Previous issue’s narration have talked about Hazel’s family “splitting up”, which has occurred in exactly the way that we didn’t expect it to (especially given the context of a possible affair), and I’m hoping that this is another example of Hazel being a terrible narrator and/or a time skip. The visual aspects of this month’s issue are top-notch, as always, especially the hugely expressive faces that Staples gives to each character. A discussion between Klara and Alanna, for instance, has me appreciating what subtle “actors” the characters are, while Marko’s rage at his situation and the utter crushing despair he feels being separated from his family are horrible to watch. The issue even has a cliffhanger ending, one that is made even more fascinating by knowing that Vaughan’s original concepts for this book rose out of the world of Star Wars. (Here’s a hint: It ain’t Chewbacca.)
THE BOTTOM LINE: MADDENING AS A MONTHLY
As wonderful as the reading experience of Saga is, I don’t recommend reading it one issue at a time, but instead in chunks (I try to get three or four issues at a time in reserve before setting in), as the twenty-odd pages of this issue went by far too fast. There’s something new and interesting in every issue of this book, and if you’re not reading it, you’re missing one of the best ensembles, some of the best art and some of the most unexpected plotting in comics today. Saga #25 is a damn fine book, even if I want to yell at every page and Bryan K. Vaughan clearly wants to hurt me, and it earns a very impressive 4.5 out of 5 stars overall.