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Saga #4 - Chapter Four Review

5

Alana, Marko, Hazel, and Izabel travel across Cleave. The Will visits Sextillion. Guess what they do there.

The Good

The Will is quickly becoming my favorite character of this series. He steals the show in issue four. He's a freelancer, and by freelancer, they mean assassin. The Will's trip to Sextillion, the sex planet, brings him face-to-face with quite the scumbag. We get a deeper sense of who The Will is without any words, and frankly, he's pretty darn awesome.

Marko explains his past "wife" to Alana, which he shouted when he woke up in issue three. We get a bit of dialogue that deepens these characters. While this issue does lack the bit of action many comic fans crave, it builds on characters and the world around them, which is far more important.

The final pages of this issue put Alana, Marko, and Hazel in danger. Izabel isn't around because ghosts aren't out during the day. It's a situation where Marko has to break away from the pacifist he claims to be. Next issue looks to be an exciting one.

Writer Brian K. Vaughan is developing this rich and robust world, and I know I shouldn't be comparing this work to his past work, but I think I like Saga more than Y: The Last Man (previously my favorite series of all time). Saga is a brilliant mixture of mysticism, science fiction, and drama. It's a near perfect blend of everything that is awesome about comic books.

As always, I can't walk away from this review without writing about the brilliance of Fiona Staples artwork. She has great creature design work on this issue. Even more noticeable was the color work on Sextillion. The colors are vibrant and pop right off the page. Her line work is also fantastic here. There's minimal variation on line width, but it's just noticeable enough to give certain aspects of the face or clothes a bit more depth. What I'm really getting at is that Fiona Staples is pure awesomeness.

The Bad

Don't read this issue at work openly. It has some nudity in it. I found out the hard way.

The Verdict

Saga continues to be the best new title not only out of Image Comics, but out of all companies. On the positive side of things, The Will is a fantastic character who we get a bit more of each month. There's some great backstory about how Marko met his first "wife," and this issue leaves off with our characters possibly going into battle.

Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples are a fantastic and dynamic creative team, and they alone should be your reason for buying this book.

On the downside, don't read this book out in the open at work. There's a bit of nudity here.

This book is my Pick of the Week! I loved the hell out of it!

23 Comments
Posted by Mucklefluga

If you're not picking this up every month you are a FOOL! I LOVE the artwork so so much and the characters and story is awesome too. I will definitely cry if Fiona Staples stops drawing for the book tho ;)

Edited by doordoor123

... there was nudity in previous issues as well -- I don't see how this issue is much worse.

Anyhow, I think this book has a great idea and great writing, but the story is really weak. That and this world is kind of bizarre -- that is fine though.

If the story doesn't get better in the next three issues, I'm dropping this.

And talk about horrible shading. Part of the art are "okay"

Posted by damswedon

What do you think of the narration? (Reason for the question in the Spoiler Block)

I found the way that it tries to convince us that The Will is a bad guy even though he hasn't yet been shown to do a bad thing just off putting. To me it felt like Brian K Vaughn realised too late that The Will will have to come into conflict with and just put it there to make us not like him.

I think the book is good, but 4 issues in I haven't latched onto any of the characters. I think this is because, for me, the universe just lacks that defining voice. It still needs that spark will elevate it out of the "Dr Who episodes where two armies fight over a quarry for six episodes" region that I currently see it as.

Posted by Nova`Prime`

I thought that cat thing was Scooby Do for a moment.. I was like sweet Scooby is in a new comic.

Posted by HubrisRanger

@doordoor123 said:

... there was nudity in previous issues as well -- I don't see how this issue is much worse.

Anyhow, I think this book has a great idea and great writing, but the story is really weak. That and this world is kind of bizarre -- that is fine though.

If the story doesn't get better in the next three issues, I'm dropping this.

And talk about horrible shading. Part of the art are "okay"

Pretty sure there weren't any angels with strap-ons in the last issue.

Posted by CombatSpoon86

This series is out of this world. Man I loved this issue. Fiona Staples=Gold.

Posted by thelastword

As of last issue, this tittle along with Batman, are at the top of my piles on Wednesdays. The scope and therefore the possibilities are endless(the first page for example). Vaughan and Staples have my permission to take me wherever their imaginations go.

Posted by Webjaker

EVERYONE has been talking about this series, so I picked up #1 - 3 and LOVED IT! Go read it! - The End

Posted by inferiorego

@damswedon said:

What do you think of the narration? (Reason for the question in the Spoiler Block)

I found the way that it tries to convince us that The Will is a bad guy even though he hasn't yet been shown to do a bad thing just off putting. To me it felt like Brian K Vaughn realised too late that The Will will have to come into conflict with and just put it there to make us not like him.

I think the book is good, but 4 issues in I haven't latched onto any of the characters. I think this is because, for me, the universe just lacks that defining voice. It still needs that spark will elevate it out of the "Dr Who episodes where two armies fight over a quarry for six episodes" region that I currently see it as.

I've reviewed the first three issues as well and I said in all of them, except this one, that I really dig Hazel as the narrator. I like how she sets The Will up as a horrible monster even though you get this very human character in this issue

Staff
Posted by Rise2Ragnarok

@inferiorego: I like Hazel as a narrator as well. Although if i had to pick a favorite character so far i'd have to say Alana. There's just something about her I'm finding pretty likable.

Posted by JonesDeini

@inferiorego: Word, Hazel's narration is a great touch and adds a very unique mood to everything. And the way it's used to invert/challenge our perception of The Will is perfect.

Overall I've loved every issue of this book. Had to make budget cuts this month and the first book I knew was immune to that was Saga. 4 issues thus far and I've yet to be let down or disappointed in the slightest. I had HUGE expectations coming into this book and for four months straight they've been effortlessly hurtled over.

Posted by SavageDragon

This book is amazing. It hasn't disappointed me yet and continues to be in my top 5 comics on the shelves out there. Mat, i know where your coming from because Y: The Last Man is my favorite book ever as well and in general BKV is one of my top writers I adore to read. (Runaways will always be special to me and Ex Machina was crazy good.) This book will have to stay amazing for a long while to surpass Y as my favorite BKV story but 4 issues in and its proving a point. That point is that BKV and Fiona Staples as a team is downright fantastic. This world is wildly weird, dark, hilarious, and mystical. I love it. This issue like the 3 before it deserves 5 stars.

Alana is my favorite so far but The Will is so cool.

Posted by GBrutality

I want more lying cat!

also, i gotta say either The Will will eventually side with them over not wanting to hurt a baby or something of the ilk or he is truly going to be nothing short of crazy awesome non-stop in his role as antagonist.

Posted by longbowhunter

Top of the stack every month. With each issue the Will grows on me more and more. I really look forward to learning his story.

Posted by mowens04

I feel like I'm the only one who isn't reading this. My girlfriend gets it every month, but I've only read the first issue so far. I might have to get on to reading this at some point.

Posted by AltyAce

I started reading this from issue 3 which didn't hook me completely, but I really want to give this series a go considering the hype around it. Is it that important that I missed the first 2 issues? I can only order my comics from the internet as there aren't really any shops in England!

Posted by aztek_the_lost

@inferiorego: ha, last issue I asked you and you couldn't compare this and Y:TLM and this month you say it's better, HA!

Moderator
Posted by Gordo789

I read a lot of trashy throw-away comic stories.... This is not one of them. Brilliant book with beautiful art. Lying cat is a boss.

Posted by feargalr

Loving this book, though I would like to see a bit more movement from Marko and Alana, like literally, it seems like they've been doing the same thing for ages now. The Will is freakin awesome.

I loved the stuff about Marko's other woman, but there was no real progress there from the two of them.. basically my main criticism is that I don't have the next issue yet.

Posted by carnivalofsins00

This is a series that I will pick up the eventual hardcovers, even though I am reading it in single issues. So damn good.

Posted by Ugbug

@AltyAce said:

I started reading this from issue 3 which didn't hook me completely, but I really want to give this series a go considering the hype around it. Is it that important that I missed the first 2 issues? I can only order my comics from the internet as there aren't really any shops in England!

It will make a whole lot more sense if you start at issue 1, if you don't want to wait to order it online you could always go to comixology and get a digital copy.

There may be a comic shop not too far from you, check out http://www.comicshops.co.uk/retailer/england.htm

Posted by GalacticPunt

This issue has more than "some" nudity in it. I think this is the first comic I've bought where the penetration is actually drawn in-panel, and I've bought plenty of Garth Ennis books! I imagine you had a hell of an awkward moment reading that in public.

...not that it phases me, I'm from The Internet.

Posted by Owie

Even among other excellent books this week, this stood out as being fantastic.  It just feels fresh and spirited.  But yes, can't exactly read it in public or leave it lying out around your kids!  I'm going to have to check out Y" The Last Man.  I always got it confused with the Nth Man!  :)