Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Art: Fiona Staples
Full disclosure: I’m a huge fan of Brian K. Vaughan. Oh, also, I have several Fiona Staples art prints hanging on my wall. So yes, I Love (capital “L”) the Saga series. I honestly believe that it’s one of the best new series of the last 5 years. Phew! I’m so glad that’s now off my chest!
The white elephant in the series: Fiona and BKV have done a real bang up job so far of establishing a few rules in this new, wacky universe. First, it’s about as varied and intriguing as the Star Wars universe. On one panel you can see a winged humanoid while on the other you see a funky seahorse-person. Second, and perhaps most importantly, this series is not for kids. After all, the series opened up with a woman in labor spitting out expletives. This was the first panel of the entire series! Now, twelve issues in, the comic has been banned from the Apple store (comiXology) for “two postage stamp-sized images of gay sex.” So, there’s that, comiXology readers. I mention it only because, well, it happened and it might be one of those weird times where after seeing giant-sized genitalia, interspecies love scenes, weird alien brothels full of orgies, and meeting a (rescued) six-year-old sex slave, someone might choose this issue to say, “this is where I draw the line.” Unfortunate, but hey… you never know.
If “two postage stamp-sized images of gay sex” don’t phase you, then you’re in for a fantastic issue of Saga. (Apologies for taking this long to get to it.) As we’ve seen before, BKV and Ms. Staples are more than capable of carrying an entire issue with just side-characters alone, so it’s no surprise that the return of Prince Robot IV can be one entire issue all by itself.
After being gone for several issues, the TV-headed robot returns to Saga when he arrives at the home of famous author D. Oswald Heist, the man behind Alana’s life-changing favorite romance novel, in search of the couple. What’s most impressive about this issue is that despite involving only two characters in one small room for the majority of the issue, we are treated one of the most intense encounters in the series so far. In fact, the encounter is very reminiscent of the dinner scene in Django Unchained – in. tense. It is that level of writing that has become the norm for this series. As always, Fiona tackles even the most preposterous-sounding characters – mouse girl and seal-boy? – with a charming and whimsical touch that is somehow, magnificently still grounded in some believable universe.
At the end of the day, I can sum up this issue of Saga thusly: more graphic content, Prince Robot IV has got issues, D. Oswald Heist is the man, and exploding mouse-face.
I give this issue 5 Nerdskull on 5 Nerdkull action.