Thursday, April 11, 2013

Saga #12

Written by Brian K. Vaughan
Art by Fiona Staples

Ah, Saga.  Never a book to hide from controversy, this latest issue has caused a bit of a sensation due to the fact that, on the first two pages, Prince Robot IV is broadcasting gay porn on his television-screen face while in the process of succumbing to a war injury in a flashback/dream sequence.  Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples have made a habit of finding some sort of image to shock or surprise readers on each of their splash pages, and I suppose that gay porn was an area they hadn't visited yet, but it's a total throw-away for shock value, and the focus on it has kept people from discussing the quality of the rest of the comic.  So no more of that.

This issue is, of course, a great read.  Prince Robot IV has been hunting Alana and Marko, and has taken The Stalk's spaceship to Quietus, the home of D. Oswald Heist, the author of the romance novel that caused Alana and Marko to fall in love.  He believes that the lovers from opposite sides of the war will try to contact that man who has inspired them, and he plans on getting there ahead of them.

Most of this issue is spent showing the conversation between Robot and Heist, who is a bit of a recluse, with some very particular ideas about the war.  Heist disparages his own novel, claiming it was written for money alone (unlike other romance novels, which are, I suppose, written for love?), and he paints himself a loyal ally of Landfall, but as their conversation gets deeper, guns are drawn, and things don't go so well for Heist.

On Bleeding Cool, Rich Johnston suggested that Heist's character could be based on Warren Ellis, although he really just seems to be a collection of writer-tropes.  What really thrilled me about this issue, though, is the appearance of a young seal-boy who gives Prince Robot the directions to Heist's place.  He looks a great deal like Philippe, of Achewood fame, unless, of course, there is a long precedent for fictional seal children to wear pants, and I'm only just becoming aware of it...

Saga is going on a brief hiatus once again, and Vaughan and Staples have left us with another terrific issue that ends on a cliff-hanger.  Can't wait until the series is back on a monthly schedule again...

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