We hope you’re enjoying the group reviews because we enjoy writing them for you. A lot of times a review for a book becomes harder and harder to write after so long, what more can you say really? With Saga though there is something to talk about with each and every issue making it fun to review. We’ll jump into it after a quick synopsis from Image:
“Prince Robot IV makes his move.”
Quick enough for you? Sadly it’s pretty accurate because it’s all Prince Robot IV this issue.
I hate to say “Borrow” for this issue, but after the events of the last issue… this one was a letdown. I know that fans have been crying for Prince Robot IV’s return, but my thought behind it was that Vaughan wrote him out because he found the character’s usefulness to be lacking. I know I found him to be the most useless character amongst the cast, but here he is back in the mix.
The entire issue is basically a conversation piece that attempts to be a battle of wits. It’s okay, but it wasn’t great due to its transparency. Perhaps if Prince IV had been established more up until this point I would have found his Inglorious Basterds-esc interrogation to be interesting, but it left me wanting and not in a good way. Rather than having that on the edge of your seat feeling from the conversation where you're left to fear for the Writer and see if the Prince will be fooled or not, you can tell within the first page of their conversation that the Writer will be caught in his stretched truths. There’s always the next issue though and Vaughan’s always bound to have his dry spots for different readers.
I can't believe that there are still people out there who aren't reading this book. With the phenomenal artwork by Fiona Staples, and the incredible story telling from Brian K. Vaughan, this should be at the top of everyone's pull list. This issue was everything that the loyal fan following have come to expect from Saga.
Starting with the cover, which is my favorite of the 12 issues thus far, it captures you with its many shades of grey mixed with the subtle brown to make the colors on Prince Robot IV's TV head standout. The art work is consistent throughout the entire book and is strong enough to tell the story without any dialogue. My favorite part about this issue is there was no predictability. Brian K Vaughn did a great job of keeping the story simple by only following one character but keeps the interest of the reader because you can never guess what's going to happen next. I was so into the story that I'm pretty sure I gave out an audible, "oh fuck", when I read the last page for the twist ending.
Great artwork, strong storytelling, and enough build up that may make you give out an, "oh fuck", are all the elements for a great issue. If you're already reading this series then I hope that you enjoy this issue as much as I did. If you're just now jumping on then pick up the trade, find the back issues, borrow them from a friend or download them digitally because you will need to know what came before and you won't want to miss what comes next.
Saga is a twisted, twisted book; always has been, always will be, but the constant winking to reader makes it okay in my book. I’m constantly thinking to myself, “My god, what will they think of next!” But when that mouse-medic's head exploded, it was fucking horrific. Her still questioning whether everything was going to be okay while her head was being terribly deformed was damn bleak and made me sad. And Brain K. Vaughn, the sicko, almost immediately introduces the most adorable baby seal person for us to be terrified for… you bastard. Also what’s the deal with the extremely graphic gay porn thing every time Prince Robot experiences powerful emotions? Its… troubling.
Thankfully no adorable baby animal-people's heads explode and Prince Robot flashes us no more close ups of man on man fillacio. From here on out things are relatively tame. It was cool to get to spend time with the Prince in this issue and to get a respite from all the craziness for a while while watching the conversation between the Prince and the Writer. Just because the issue was low-key doesn’t mean it wasn’t intense, we’ve seen the Prince as a highly unpredictable and unstable, handling violence with scary detachedness. The tension is built really well here and helps illuminate who is, in a weird grey area way, our antagonist. This is a good issue that’s certainly worth reading and a must if you’re into the series, helping flesh out one of the books most interesting characters (which is really saying something trust me). The dialogue is sharp and the art is crisp and imaginative as always. Another great chapter in a comic where such things have become the standard.
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Fiona Staples
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: 4/10/13