Chapter 4 of Brian K. Vaughan and Image Comics, “Saga”, ends with the main character, Marko, drawing his sword and saying, “We fight.” This may seem like a pretty tame line to start off a comic book review, but what follows in chapter 5 of “Saga” is Fiona Staples illustrating Marko’s berserker rage as he slices and dices his way through an entire squadron of “feathered fucks.” Issue #5 is a worthy addition to what is already shaping up to be a masterpiece.
WRITTEN BY: Brian K. Vaughan
ART BY: Fiona Staples
RELEASE: July 18th
Heretofore in the series Marko has been a pacifist. As he puts it, “My reluctance to use force isn’t ideological, it’s practical. Violence is stupid. Even as a last resort, it only begets more of the same.” In chapter 5 of “Saga”, Marko definitely begets himself and his family some future violence. While the series hasn’t been lacking in blood and guts (and sex), this issue is definitely the bloodiest as Staples replaces the background of the 5 pages with red to emphasize Marko’s frenzied blood lust. And not to ruin it for anyone, but it really is a romantic scene. After all, Marko is defending his family and the feathered fuckers shot at his wife. Can you really blame him if all he wants to do is, “Cut off their fucking heads”? Luckily for Marko, Alana steps in (with her stun gun) and prevents this from happening, as the guilt of this action would undoubtedly destroy Marko. Luckily for us readers, Staples had already given us more than enough action to have made that scenario gratuitous, had it taken place.
Chapter 5 of Saga is full of plenty of character development. Something major happens to each of the characters. Marko and Fiona have their battle royale, Hazel laughs for the first time (OK maybe not that major?), IV the Robot Prince receives some exciting news from his betrothed, and The Will finds himself mired deeper in the sh*t than imaginable on Sextillion. What I love about each of these incidences is that by only 5 issues into the series Vaughan has given each character such a distinct and likable personality that the impact of these events drives the series onwards. This is especially true for this issue, as Hazel’s narration is noticeably lacking, but the characters and events speak for themselves in this issue, as well as tantalizingly foreshadow things to come…
Marko foreshadows the impending violence which will undoubtedly close in on Alana and his family in the near future. The Robot Prince already has an unstable and violent personality, so how will the news he receives rom his loved one affect him? This issue makes it seem like he will only become more vicious to protect himself and accomplish his goals, but maybe the news will cause him to later on rethink his mission. On a side note, I love how The Robot Prince can’t control what displays on his monitor face. That has to be some form of robot PTSD or something!
And that brings us to my favorite character, The Will. His motives are still unknown, and Hazel refers to him as, “A f*cking monster,” in issue 4. But his predicament in issue 5, which revolves around his attempted rescue of the slave girl, seems to speak differently to his personality. The Will is still a morally ambiguous character at this point in the series. He kills men, women and apparently children. But it also appears that he has done something incredibly foolish to rescue a child from a predicament that is markedly worse than death.
Violence and morality are emphasized in all of the plot lines, and the decisions related to violent actions will have far reaching impact on the character’s futures. Whether violence pushes some characters together, or drives others apart, will be exciting to find out. Either way I’m definitely in on this series for the full ride. I can’t wait to see what Vaughan and Staples have in store for the rest of the issues as every aspect of this comic is spot on. The action, character development, plot and artwork all have an amazing synergy that keeps building.
Reviewed by TheSandman