By Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
There is no denying that Saga is a book that is one of the first couple of books read from your weekly pull list. It’s just the kind of series that always puts out a good issue. As Saga comes back from hiatus, we are getting perhaps a different story this arc. Vaughan has said he’s ready to tell Hazel’s story, so this should almost feel almost like a spin-off from the main series. Either way, if Vaughan and Staples are involved, it should be great.
At this point in the series Brian K. Vaughan can make the main character a salamander named Charlie and it would still be interesting. As stated above, this issue focuses on Hazel after a bit of a time jump. She’s in a school of sorts and is being raised by her grandmother. Even though Hazel has been our narrator for the entire series so far, she hasn’t been focused on as a character. Vaughan allows her to be a sweet and innocent little girl, and she’s incredibly adorable. We essentially get two parts in this issue, one where Hazel is in school and another explaining how she got there. The first part of the issue dealing with the escape from space captors is necessary, but not as exciting or interesting as Hazel maturing into a young little girl. These school scenes are excellent. Vaughan develops hazel wonderfully in only half an issue. Vaughan also packs some real life social commentary in here as well. Everything from transgender people to racism are wrapped in this book. Vaughan once again cements himself as one of the best writers in the business.
The art this issue are handled by Fiona Staples, as always. There really isn’t anything you can say about how great her work is that hasn’t already been said. Staples continues to draw all the weird and wild things this series has to offer with great passion and pride. This time around we get a pig that is a medical liaison for the robot kingdom. It’s not that weird, but Staples smooth lines and fresh style just knock it out of the park. Seeing an older Hazel is also cool. Staples makes her look adorable, but what else would you expect. It’s funny, because for how mature we think Hazel is as a character, it’s nice to see that Staples doesn’t allow her to lack certain tropes little kids often fall into, like having smeared chocolate on her face after eating a cupcake. The colors, also done by Staples, are wonderful as usual. She keeps them light and fun, which makes the book so much more enjoyable. Even when someone gets their head bashed in with a mace, we’re still in a decent mood.
It can’t be stated enough that Saga is without a doubt one of the best books on the shelf. Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona staples are really making magic with this series. Regardless of which characters the issue focuses on, you’ll always be entertained. Saga is a comics juggernaut.