Written by Brian K. Vaughan
Art by Fiona Staples
Release Date: December 19, 2012
Saga #8 veers away from the main story for a short time and dedicates a few of it’s precious pages to something readers have been looking forward to since issue 1: a flashback story. There have been mentions or conversations about our two main characters during the war, but we have yet to see anything more. Since a comic is best left experienced, I wont reveal what the flashback story is, but the story does a superb job at giving the characters even more depth and adding a few more questions to the back story.
Vaughn’s writing is still top notch after 8 issues. Marko and Alana are written perfectly. What I really enjoyed in this issue is the way Marko interacts with the women in his life. Each one completely different and reinforces who Marko is and what he is about. A simple ‘please’ at the end of the conversation between Marko and his mother wrapped up the whole conversation so effectively. That is what great writing does, it creates depth with simplicity. Vaughn is also able to balance moving the story forward and filling us in on the back story of the characters. We are given just enough hints of both the past and the future to be satisfied and excited to find out more. My only real complaint for Saga so far has been that a few of the earlier issues have been a bit of an information overload in terms of characters and story lines. Issue 7, and now 8, the series has focused more on a smaller cast and really let them shine.
The art by Fiona Staples is as fabulous as always. I honestly don’t think I can say one negative thing about the art for this book. Every page is full of so much creativity and originality. There a few new characters introduced in the latter half of the comic and are just as interesting and creative as the ones before them. The character’s body language and facial expressions are so unique and add even more to their depictions on every page. They could have removed the dialogue (but they most definitely shouldn’t!) and the story could still be told and followed.
The layout of the comic is also something I’ve begun to take more notice of in the past few issues. Saga is set up with such a traditional or ‘classic’ comic book feel. Many comic books today really push the boundaries and interpretation of comic book paneling with mixed results. Saga keeps it simple similar like the comics of yesteryear with just a few panels each page that are clearly defined to move the story along. With a timeless story of love and war, the way the story is being presented really complements the writing.
I don’t like to make bold statements, but I think this one is worth saying. Saga is the best ongoing series of 2012. Read it and then show it to all of your friends, even the non comic book ones.