Review: Saga #17
There is a reason Saga is consistently praised by readers and acclaimed by critics. Installments like issue #17 add more reason to that argument. Issue 17 ups the action and sets up some possibly big shifts in the story from here on out.
This month’s issue starts off right after 16. All of our characters are finally together. Good and bad. The Will is still very messed up and hurt, Prince Robot has arrived and our intrepid reporters have gotten way in over their head. The action picks up for sure here as Prince Robot arrives at D. Oswald Heist’s house to apprehend Marko and Alana. They have to decide what to do. Stay hiding or fight Prince Robot. While this is happening, Gwendolyn and Lying Cat (who’s a girl and called Honest Cat by The Will, I prefer Lying Cat) have arrived at Heist’s home. She’s still working to save The Will but time is running out. IT hits the fan in this issue as Klara takes things into her own hands and Gwendolyn messes up big time.
Saga #17 is pretty much perfect. Everything before this has been building up to this confrontation. Prince Robot’s hunt and Gwendolyn’s hunt have all lead up to this moment. They’ve both found Marko and Alana but each messed up their missions, albeit in different ways. This is why I’ve always been such a fan of Brian K. Vaughn’s series. He writes each issue with a purpose. While the series is broken up in trades, the story is not designed that way. Issue #6 will have something that matters down the line. The story builds on itself and #17 is the payoff.
We, the readers, still are not sure what The Will’s fate will be. However Vaughn does something here that I enjoyed a lot. In Hazel’s voice over she talks about advice some writers get. “Kill Your Darlings” is something that many great writers like William Faulkner and Stephen King have been quoted on. It is when a writer edits out or “kills off” their favorite character or the thing in the story they love the most. I found it extremely interesting that Hazel mentions this as a watcher of the events. The final fate of a couple major characters is left unknown at the end of Issue #17 and I think this was Vaughn’s way of telling us who was going to die in issue #18 next month. The task we’re left with is figuring out which one he considers is darling and whether or not he believes in that. Given how Y:The Last Man ended, I lean towards yes.
Once again Fiona Staples kills it on artwork. It’s one of my most anticipated comics each month because of her work. I especially love how Prince Robot appears to give off emotion despite having a blank tv screen for a face. There a couple panels here that show him emoting confusion and profound realization. It’s a crazy sight to see because he has no actual face to make facial expressions.
The only downside of Saga #17 is that it almost feels cut off. The ending is obviously a cliffhanger but it didn’t feel natural. I feel like huge changes are about to come to this story with who’s in alliance with each other. It makes me want to read Saga #18 even more. Saga is definitely in the top 3 comic series going on right now. If you haven’t read it yet, get yourself the two trades that are out. It’s more than worth the money.