Issue six of Saga is the first before trade and reads as such; it is an epilogue-y sort of issue, one with both an ending and hints of many new beginnings to come. Of course since this is Saga we’re talking about it is anything but a subdued read. Like every issue before it Six introduces so many great new ideas into the Saga universe; from the revealed literality of the term ‘Rocketship Forest’ through telephoning pensioners who speak in tongues to the promise that so many much weirder things are on there way. We know this because the big, wooden ship that the parents find themselves on is apparently one that they will ride for a long while yet and to any number of possible new planets, depending on what kind of mood the self-steering sapling is in (BKV has invented a new TARDIS). I for one am bursting at the seems to see each and every one, but I can wait because issue six of Saga sated me as much as it made me salivate.
Though it is all of the loud ideas that linger most prominently in the mind this issue does take some time to slow down and digest things that have gone down, specifically those involving the earlily late Stalk. Similarly, while it is his manly monologue that most gets the blood pumping, the silent page spent with the Will in mourning was one of the more magical of the issue for me (and also reveals that his ship is some sort of seed. Important?) Lying Cat’s worried expression in that single panel sells exactly how shattered its master is by the news that his sparring partner and occasional seductress has departed to spider heaven. Hell, Fiona Staples sells the shit out of every one of the comics concepts with her amazing art: that double page vertical splash is stunning despite it simply depicting three (two point five?) people looking at a tree.
Vaughn’s writing too is as stellar in its intricacies as it is with big, bold ideas. If he were to simply send out his scripts they would make for better reading than most book’s on the shelf. His dialogue in particular is killer; clashing and combing high-sci-fi terminologies with realistic rhythms to temper them both and mine comedy from the contrast. This is something that he also does with the story and setting, but not to as exact an effect. The dialogue is so good that when two characters appear and begin speaking in an alien language I was shattered. They were probably saying something really clever, there was probably witty wordplay involved but I’ll never know because unfortunately I don’t speak Wreathan and that kills me. Please let there be a translation coming soon.
The other always interesting element of the writing in Saga is the names given to the characters and the one highlighted this month is intriguing indeed. Heist? I wonder if this is another literal name? And if so, how so? Perhaps though it was simply chosen because it is a cool word. Heist also being ‘the smartest man in the universe’ though intrigues me, as does the Will’s new revenge quest, as do the two new occupants of the treehouse, as does virtually every element of the book. How I’m going to go giving the pair this two months wait time they requested, I really don’t know.
Though if you’re reading this review and haven’t started with the story yet then you’ve lucked out. You should without a doubt buy the trade when it comes out in a few weeks time because every issue of Saga is simply a stunning read: strange, sad, spectacular, a success on every level and based on what we’ve been promised (I can’t imagine the Quietus arc being in any way quiet) this tradition is set to continue for as long as the series does. Can’t wait to go back and read them all again myself.