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Review: Saga #26

With re-introductions out of the way last issue, Saga settles in to tell the next chapter, and I like the sound of that. There’s a lot going on in the story these days, with at least three completely separate groups of main characters, each with their own separate storyline. I’m sure there will be an issue or two that focuses on just one at a time, but Saga #26 tackles them all, adding more depth and intrigue to each one in the process.

Saga #26

As such, this new issue moves the story along at a nice, enjoyable pace. We visit all the characters, meet some new ones, and little bits of intrigue are woven throughout.

Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.

That makes Saga #26 another solid installment of the series. Saga isn’t so much slowing down as it is going in a bunch of different directions at once, and fortunately for us, each one is rather interesting. There’s Dengo the Crazy Janitor and his hostages, including series narrator Hazel. There’s Marko and his unlikely crew racing to their rescue. And then there’s Lying Cat and his various peeps on a really tangential side mission. I look forward to the day when all these stories come crashing together again, but for now, I’m just going to enjoy the journey.

Though I will point out that, for once, Saga has a cliffhanger that I don’t particularly like. Not in an ‘Oh my God, my heart is broken’ kind of way, more of an ‘Oh really? You’re going in that direction? Alright’ kind of way. But even then, I have full faith in writer Brian K. Vaughn and artist Fiona Staples. There’s at least one pleasant surprise this issue, so it’s got that going for it.

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

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Review: Saga #25

The long wait is over, and our beloved Saga has returned, as good as ever. A lot has changed since the start of the last volume: Hazel, Alana and Klara are prisoners of Dengo the Crazy Janitor, Marko and Prince Robot IV have forged an uneasy alliance and are in pursuit, and Lying Cat and her homies are on a quest to save The Will! We’re spread across the galaxy in the new issue, but writer Brian K. Vaughn and artist Fiona Staples take the time to check in on everybody for updates. It’s a solid issue with a lot of forward momentum.

Saga #25

Saga #25 also has the requisite single line of narration that threatens to tear my heart to shreds.

Comic Review: 9/10 – Great.

Don’t worry, though, my heart is fine. It wasn’t that bad, but Vaughn really knows how to stab the knife. How can you tell if you’ve created beloved characters? When the simple promise that ‘they’re in a story, so drama has to happen to them’ is enough to make your readers wince in pain. I can’t be the only one who wants Marko, Alana and Hazel to live happily ever after from this second forward.

But the story must move forward, drama must happen, and hearts must be broken. That Vaughn and Staples are able to so expertly craft such a tale is a testament to their skill as storytellers. Every single character feels real and full, and I’m excited to catch up on all their storylines. Once again, we have no idea where Vaughn and Staples are taking us, and I’m as excited as ever to find out where we’re going. It will no doubt be an emotional roller coaster.

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

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Review: Saga #24

When all is said and done, and we’re looking back at Saga in the big picture, this volume is going to be seen as one of transition. People in the future who read Saga in one sitting are going to breeze through this chapter to get to the really good stuff. And that makes this volume – and this issue in particular – kind of an odd duckling. Better literary critics than I will probably be able to explain it better, but for me, this was all just a nice visit with some good friends.

Saga #24

Saga #24 ends the current volume by looking ahead to the future, underlining this whole volume as a tiny bit unnecessary.

Comic Rating: 7/10 – Good.

Not that I would ever consider a single issue of Saga ‘unnecessary’ – unless, of course, it got really bad somehow. But after reading this issue, and it’s wild departure from every other issue in this volume, I find myself slightly confused by the whole experience. Writer Brian K. Vaughn shocked us at the end of issue #18 with a jump forward in time, giving us Hazel as a toddler and her family changed. That could have been the start of a great new status quo, and for a little while, it was. But with this issue, everything has changed once again.

Vaughn spent the majority of this volume establishing that new status quo only to rip us away from it at the end. This volume didn’t really take us from Point A to Point B because, like I said, Vaughn pretty much created Point A out of thin air.

But I suppose there’s no real reason to complain. We got some good drama, we met some new characters, and toddler Hazel was something spectacular. Maybe I’m just looking at this from the wrong perspective. Alana and her family are obviously the stars of the book, but the plot in this volume was all about the Robot Kingdom. A lot happened on that front. So it’s possible I don’t have any idea what I’m talking about.

I think Saga really should be read all at once, whenever it’s completed, even if it would mean waiting years.

At least Vaughn brought back Lying Cat in this issue, and effortlessly reminded us why she is Saga‘s breakout character. There is some great Lying Cat in Saga #24!

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Review: Saga #23

Leave it to writer Brian K. Vaughn to break my heart several issues ago, then pull out a comic like Saga #23 and TOTALLY REDEEM HIMSELF!

Saga #23

I knew to trust Vaughn with his story. I knew he wouldn’t lead us too far astray, that everything was being done for a reason. I held out hope that he was going somewhere important with all of this, and finally, in Saga #23, we start to see what he’s got planned. And, as expected, it’s completely unexpected.

That’s the great thing about Saga: I have no idea what’s going to happen next, and I love it!

Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.

Mostly, I love it. I’m a sucker for always falling in love with characters and not wanting anything bad to happen to them, whereas Vaughn understands that bad things have to happen to characters; that’s what makes a story a story. It’s too his credit that he’s created such an amazing cast. I’ve just got to suck it up and keep trusting him to write one hell of an adventure. But man, some of the events of this issue are probably going to be heart-breaking all over again.

After several issues of scenery building, setting up the Circuit, Marko’s flirtations, and The Crazy Janitor, Saga #23 starts crashing all of them together in the usual glorious ways. Vaughn plays with our expectations in a way that proves he knew exactly what he was doing, and the ending hits us simultaneously with joy and fear. With an extra dash of excitement and mystery, of course.

It’s no Saga #19, but wait until you see how Vaughn twists our assumptions about that issue as well. This volume has been a bit low key in the grand scheme of things, but Vaughn is no less a master of his craft.

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

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Review: Saga #22

This is gonna get good. Do you ever get that feeling reading a comic? Do you flip through the pages, read the dialogue, scan the pictures, and get that feeling in your gut that all of this is going somewhere and it’s gonna be awesome? I got that feeling reading Saga #22. The last few issues have been pretty low key, and I’ve rated them as such, but now writer Brian K. Vaughn is starting to move his chess pieces around the board. All the characters he’s introduced, all the plot lines he seeded, start swirling together in the new issue, and it’s rather exciting.

Saga #22

Don’t say I didn’t warn you, but I think this Saga comic is gonna be pretty good.

Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.

Vaughn and artist Fiona Staples had a lot to introduce coming into this new volume. They did a time jump, so there was a lot they had to get readers up to speed on in the universe before they could restart the story proper. I get that. Nothing wrong with that. But it made for a few issues that were just setting up the scenery. And it was depressing scenery. Can you believe that Vaughn and Staples are doing to Marko and Alana?! Man, what a drag. But in the end, there’s no denying that it’s going to be a great story, because that’s what these to do: they make great comics!

Things start to heat up in a bad way between Marko and Alana in this issue. We knew it was coming, and Vaugh just slaps us in the face with it. But they’re just the beginning. Were you, like I, wondering where all this crazy janitor stuff was going? Oh yeah, it’s going there. It’s going right there, and Vaughn is going to destroy us with it.

Well I say bring it on!

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