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Saga #15

by Wombatapult on October 31, 2013

The best part about Saga is that it's weird, but it isn't pretentious . You can travel all over the galaxy, see the weirdest stuff, fight the craziest monsters, and still be back home in time for a dinner that's slightly burnt, with the family who picks on you and the cat who's actually kind of old and the undesirable friend you are still slightly embarrassed to have visit. So when, within the first few pages, we've encountered TV headed robots, dead dragons, and the main character ungloriously doing the laundry, nobody gets confused. I have spoken at length before about why Saga is unequivocally the best comic being published. But you really have to see it to believe it. And so here I am, issuing another glowing review, pushing you to read it. Independent comics are the future of the industry. So do your part and support the future. Joking aside, this is one of the best issues to date. And here's why. I'm finally seeing smiles again. Yes, the cosmic adventuring is great. The trolls with exaggerated anatomy, the ridiculous throwaway science fiction concepts that nobody else would use, the wide and colorful cast of characters, its all fantastic. But what I love most about this series is that it's about family. And sometimes family is boring and does laundry and plays board games. The glimpse into Marco and Alana's life at rest, be it ever so brief, is refreshing. Because it reminds me that ultimately, all stories are based on elements of reality. And for so many of us, the reality is the people we live with, who we can only sometimes stand and usually don't get along with. And that's what family is. It's rare that we can choose it. We cannot often reject it. And learning to live with it is almost universal. That's fascinating when you stop to think about it. And that's the primary component of some of the most touching scenes over the 15-issue history of this book. The frankness and openness of the interactions between these characters make this a book I am genuinely excited to read every month. But Brian K. Vaughan has a weakness. And its name is cliffhangers. If I wanted a cliffhanger every month I'd probably read Batman. Actually, I do read Batman. But I read Batman for an entirely different reason than I read Saga. When I'm reading Saga, I'm okay with graphic depictions of violence and sometimes sex. I'm okay with mature themes and rough content. It is not a book for kids. But I don't want this story to ever become unnecessarily brutal. If I see action in Saga I want it to have a twinge of adventure. If I see sexual content, I want it to have a touch of Marco and Alana's endearing romance to it, however frank and slightly ridiculous it may be. If there's plot... well, I don't want it to get too heavy. So when the plot turns heavy, and the twists get upsetting, and you start worrying about how the hell your favorite characters are going to get out of this one, the story becomes a little less enjoyable. And that's all I have to say about that, because you should still read this issue and I don't want to spoil the ending. Seriously go buy this book. Side note: Fiona Staples is a top-tier artist working for a second tier company. That may actually be better for her reputation (and for her career) than working for one of the bigger companies. I consistently find her work surprising in its power of expression and its sincerity. I find myself looking back over the books just to look at her art, without even reading the words. At the cost of sounding like a blind acolyte, I really just have to plug how excellent an artist Fiona Staples is. She is one of the best things about the comic industry in general right now, and I look forward to seeing her future work on other series so that I can continue to observe her amazing and highly intelligent use of color and her understanding of sequential-art storytelling. Any more praise I lavish on Saga would be superfluous and redundant. So I'll stop here. This is the end of my review.

Our Score:

8/10

A Look Inside