Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Fiona Staples
Saga is the best comic book around and this issue has a great story with even better art. 10/10!
Too bad reviews don’t work that way, even though it’s the truth.
Anyway, it’s the penultimate issue of Saga’s ninth arc and boy is it chock-full of surprises.
The first couple of issues of this arc were slow and easy-going, it felt like the gang was taking a vacation on a nice and quiet beach. That didn’t last long, however, as we saw Ianthe and The Will finally catching up with the crew.
The last issue saw the gang splitting up to search for Squire. Squire eventually runs into Ianthe, while The Will finally comes face to face with Prince Robot. Both of those meetings are resolved in really unexpected ways and make you wonder what Vaughn and Staples have in store for us in the last issue.
Vaughn’s writing is wondrous. He manages to cram in so much relevant information into such a limited number of pages, without anything feeling rushed. Want some good ol’ parking lot blackmailing? You’ve got it! A Mexican standoff, but with aliens on a beach? No problem! Some additional character exposition via a flashback-type scene? Got you covered!
Of course, all of that wouldn’t be possible without Fiona Staples’ masterful paneling and visual storytelling. Her panels are clear and easy to read, packed with just enough details to grab your attention, but still keeping it clean. This is the same artist that managed to leave us speechless with a few completely black pages just a dozen or so issues ago.
There is one other thing worth noting about this issue – the absence of Hazel’s quasi-narration. It’s not noticeable right away, but by the end of the book, you will realize that something is a bit… off. I can’t remember when was the last time (if ever) this happened. While I love reading her scribbled thoughts, I feel that excluding those served the overall story and flow of this issue really well.
Saga #53 hits all the beats needed for a great Saga issue and an excellent comic book. It’s got great character interactions, quite a few surprises, phenomenal art and it finishes with a full page… splash. There is a month left until we get the ending of this arc, followed by (probably) another three-month break. Personally, I can’t wait for it! Vaughn also promised to provide some information about the future of the series in next months letter column so that’s another thing to be anxious about.
Saga remains one of the best comics on the stands.