Review: Saga #10

I was disappointed with the last issue of Saga because writer Brian K. Vaughn took us away from the main characters at a very entertaining part of their story, choosing instead to focus on some of the side characters. And while I don’t take back my disappointment, I am definitely glad he did that, because Vaughn set up one of the most emotionally powerful scenes in the series yet. I cried out loud when I turned to the final page! Damn you, Brian K. Vaughn! Why must you hit us with all the feels? We’re only human. We can’t be put through an emotional wringer like this!

Saga #10

Saga #10 is absolutely perfect in every conceivable way. Vaughn brings together both groups of characters in an issue that brings to a head the various plot threads we’ve been reading over the past several issues. He does this by first showing us true love and then later breaking our damn hearts.

Comic Rating: 5/5: Great!

Vaughn should be teaching some kind of class on creative writing. The man is a master of building up characters and putting them together in highly entertaining and emotionally fulfilling ways. We only met Marko’s parents a few issues ago, but I love them already, and I love how they have quickly become such a warm and important part of the cast. A writer should be able to tell he’s got good characters when all I want to do is read them sitting around and talking about their lives. We get some of that in this issue, as well as some more parenting advice from Barr, but there’s also a lot of action, which is good too. If you can’t tell by the cover, we finally get Izabel back into the cast and everyone returns to the spaceship tree. Those are some very entertaining scenes.

The art by Fiona Staples is, of course, absolutely top notch. I can only hope she becomes one of the greatest artists in the industry after this series. The characters all look great, and she brings a real coziness to their confines. Staples also draws one incredible splash page that I’ll post later that is simply stunning. There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that she is perfect for this series after seeing that page.

And then when it comes time to break our hearts on the last page, Staples is more than up for the challenge.

Join me after the jump for a full synopsis and more review!

We open, as is typical, with another flashback in the lives of Marko and Alana. Some time has passed since their first meeting in the prison cell last issue, enough so that they’re friends and Alana is reading to him from the romance novel that changed her life. Marko is still a prisoner and is out in some quarry breaking rocks. Alana is still his guard, but they’re quite clearly enjoying their little pow wow together as they talk about the themes of the book.

Drink him in, ladies

They discuss how the relationship in the novel is a metaphor for the war between Wreath and Landfall. Marko thinks the point of the story is that the war is going to stretch on forever, a never ending cycle of violence that can only be ended by more war. But Alana thinks he’s reading too deep. Still, she absolutely loves their little get-togethers, which is why she’s alarmed when Marko tells her that he’s being transferred to an even worse prison, where he’s likely to die. Alana doesn’t want him to go – for reasons that have become obvious – so she does something really stupid: she uses her gun to shoot Marko’s chains. He’s shocked, but she wants him to escape.

I need to say more badass things myself

Instead of fleeing, Marko looks deep into Alana’s eyes and they share their first kiss. Swoon.

Though he doesn’t have this much luck with all of the women in his life. Case in point, Marko and his mom Klara are still bickering planetside as they search for Izabel. She wants to leave, since they recently found out that the planet was really a giant egg, and its about to hatch. But Marko is insistent on finding Izabel.

During their search, the pair stumble upon some kind of hag ghost monsters, who make all manner of spooky threats. Klara is not about to put up with their crap, but they zap her with their ghost powers. Fortunately, mother and son are saved by a giant, orange space gorilla. The beast comes charging out of the ruins and chases the hags away. Klara is ready to attack the gorilla as well, but no need, it’s just Izabel the shape-shifting ghost! She and Klara bicker for a bit before the planet starts shaking, then everybody wants to get the hell off that rock!

It’s good to have Izabel back

Up on the spaceship tree, Alana is freaking out and runs into the room where Barr is working. She was giving Hazel a bath when a little black thingy fell off her belly, and she’s really worried. But Barr just chuckles and explains that Hazel now has a belly button. The thing that fell off was the last bit of umbilical cord, which is natural. Alana once again tries to convince Barr to tell everyone that he’s dying, but their conversation is interrupted when Marko, Klara and Izabel return. There are many happy reunions before the ship starts to shake, hit by floating debris from the hatching planet.

Take a deep breath folks.

Wow. What a picture.

For the most part, Staples’ art in this series has been very closed in, with characters all standing around the same room talking. And that’s fine. But now she’s called upon to draw something so epic it defies reason, and she absolutely nails it! That is exactly what a giant space baby hatching out of a planet would look like! It’s terrifying and beautiful at the same time. Gorgeous.

Everyone wants to get as far away from it as they can, but suddenly there’s another ship nearby!

It’s The Will, Gwendolyn and Slave Girl! They’ve found them

Persistent buggers, aren’t they?

Even with the giant hatching baby, the freelancers zero in on the spaceship tree. Gwendolyn can feel Marko, so she jumps up to the controls and fires a missile at the ship. Thinking quickly, Alana orders the spaceship tree to fly directly at the missile. They’re programmed not to explode within a certain distance from where they were fired, and sure enough, the spaceship tree knocks into the missile before it has been armed. The missile floats harmlessly away…right into the giant space baby!

Poor space baby

Oh horror of horrors!

The space baby attacks The Will’s ship, smashing a giant hole in the side. And this is it, folks. Are you ready for this? I don’t think you are. But I’m going to tell you anyway. Having a hole in your ship in the middle of space is a terrible idea, and sure enough, the vacuum starts sucking everything out. Gwendolyn grabs Slave Girl. The Will grabs on for dear life and turns to look at the damage…then he screams…

Hazel starts narrating through all of this. She explains how break-ups are a lot like battles. When two people break up after a long term relationship, they’re not the only people who get hurt. Friends, family, co-workers; there is a ripple effect of people who feel the impact of the break up. This is kind of like collateral damage in a battle. Sure people get hurt, Hazel says, but the damage doesn’t directly effect the battle. And as long as somebody wins, then who really cares about the collateral damage? There are acceptable losses.

Then you turn the final page.








Where is your God now?

Lying Cat!!! NOOOOOOOOO!!

Why did it have to be Lying Cat? Oh man, I’m breaking up just trying to write about it. This is like losing a beloved pet! And we’re only 10 issues into the series! What the hell!? I didn’t even see it coming either. I saw Gwendolyn grab Slave Girl and I saw The Will grab the console, but it didn’t even occur to me that we weren’t seeing Lying Cat. Not until I turned the page and it was like a thousand voices crying out at once in sorrow!

Oh man. Lying Cat. Jeez.

This was an amazing issue of Saga. This is why I read Brian K. Vaughn comics. The man is a master of his craft. The characters are the best part. They’re so full of life and feel so very real, and when he brings them together like this, it’s magic. I was worried that bringing Marko’s parents into the book would disrupt the dynamic between Marko and Alana, and I was kind of right, but it doesn’t matter. They’re such good additions. And now everyone’s back together, so I hope we get even more of the family dynamic in the next issue. The character work in Saga is absolutely thrilling.

And that final page. Man. It’s as if Han Solo had lost Chewbacca. Lying Cat was such a fun character, and he was hardly ever a big deal. But you never know what you’ve got until it’s gone. Goodbye, you beautiful lie-detecting feline.

About Sean Ian Mills

Hello, this is Sean, the Henchman-4-Hire! By day I am a mild-mannered newspaper reporter in Central New York, and by the rest of the day I'm a pretty big geek when it comes to video games, comic books, movies, cartoons and more.

Posted on February 24, 2013, in Comics, Reviews and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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