By Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples
The creators of Saga have worked out a great system of releasing the book monthly for six issues and then taking a couple months off to regroup and release that latest six issue arc into trade paperback form. This works out great for both creators and readers, whether they read the issues or trades. Vaughn and Staples get time to regroup and figure out their next move without feeling rushed or without make their work suffer from over-exertion and we fans get time to either catch up or leave us pinning for more so when Saga does return we are more than ready to devour the next story arc. With the latest release of issue eighteen, this marks the end of the third arc and boy it is one heck of an ending.
This issue truly does feel like a culmination to almost everything we’ve seen thus far in the series. In fact, even though this is the end of the third story arc it really felt like the end of the first chapter for this sprawling sci-fi love epic. All the characters’ paths we’ve followed up to this point converge and things don’t look to hopeful for our renegade family. The past five issues may have seemed slower compared to the previous arcs of Saga but this latest issue is the pay off from all of the character building and positioning. This issue is a prime example of why Saga is constantly on the top of people’s favorite ongoing series.
Fiona Staples’ style of artwork is incomparable to anything you will find on the shelves right now. She has unique style of balancing both bright colors while not relying so much on black ink outlines and just let the shapes and colors speak for themselves. She really helps embody this bizarre sci-fi world that Vaughn has written while still keeping certain aspects feeling grounded and somewhat modern which makes this series more relatable to the average reader. Even though one of Staples’ huge strong points is her exceptional character designs, the thing that I personally enjoy about her work is her backgrounds. They always have a duel vibe of being both detailed and simplistic to the point that most people over look them and don’t realize that they in fact play a silent part in making Saga look and feel beautiful.
When you read Saga it seems like it reads so fast that each issue is over before you know it. It’s issues like this that prove why, because it’s such an engaging and entertaining story that you want to consume it all right away and when it’s done you are still left craving more, that’s how good this series is. Now not to spoil anything but the way this issue ends is both very satisfying but it also leaves the readers in a state of bewilderment wondering what direction Vaughn and Staples will take Saga to next.