Home > Comics, Reviews > Comic Review: Saga #11

Comic Review: Saga #11

Saga Comics #11 Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples cover

Dear Brian K. Vaughn: the heart can only take so much.

Issue #10 of Saga threw Lying Cat into space, hurtling toward the monstrous planet-sized baby Time Suck.

Saga #11 has more to say on the beloved Lying Cat, and while BKV gives reason for hope to live again, heartbreak is never far away in this stellar issue.

But before we get to the Time Suck crisis and the imperiled Lying Cat, Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples give us some good ol’ fashioned sex between Alana and Marko.

And they don’t use protection.

That’s right: we’ve already seen some great flashbacks to Alana and Marko in the early days of their relationship, and in Saga #11, we get to see the night Hazel was conceived. Vaughn makes the post-coital moments so embarrassingly awkward, intimate, freaked out and real that you may very well recognize yourself in Alana or Marko (sans wings or horns, respectively). It’s out of control and exhilarating and taboo and it perfectly encompasses everything about the young couple.

The flashback is a perfect counterpoint to the present action on the rocket ship, where Marko and his mother and Alana and father in-law Barr must work together to survive.

Once again, Vaughn continues to tackle themes of family, sacrifice, and love through grounded, real dialogue that makes you forget that what you’re reading is set on a wooden rocket ship.

But, in case you forget for too long, Fiona Staples’ brilliance reminds you just how wild and imaginative this comic is. Her space scenes are beautiful, her glassy-eyed Time Suck is chilling and her character expressions capture all the subtle emotions needed for this gut-wrenching turn of the story.

Saga is a series that gets better with every page turn – especially when it comes to its characters. Eleven issues in, nobody feels like a clear cut bad guy. This series is filled with aliens, ghosts, TV-headed men and mercenaries, but they all feel more human than anything you’ll read in a Marvel or DC book.

Saga has been great for the last ten issues, and Saga #11 only ups the ante.

Hopefully, your heart can take it.

9.5 out of 10

  1. March 21, 2013 at 1:56 am

    I’m enjoying SAGA, but I am feeling like a complete weirdo in comparison to a lot of the great comic reading crowd around the internet. Because I kinda feel the opposite of what you say…the characters in Marvel comics feel intensely more human and personal than the characters in BKV’s work, who are always just a little too cute and self-aware for me. But boy is it ever imaginative and entertaining – it’s a great comic, and I’m not trying to say otherwise. I’ve yet to connect to Marko, Alana or Hazel or anyone else…but we’ll see!

    • March 21, 2013 at 2:56 am

      I recently read Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men and the Kitty Pryde/Colossus relationship was complex and real and just fantastic. It was also a very superhero kind of romance: fleeting, impermanent, interrupted by death a few times and often in danger of not succeeding. Superhero couples rarely last – especially when it’s a marriage. Everything is heightened because they’re constantly under threat, so the romances are always more passionate and more tragic when they end.

      I think what people like about Saga is that it tells a different kind of romantic story. Alana and Marko aren’t going to break up: they are together, and that is not going to change. Sure, people want to kill them, but their relationship is never under attack, so they can be more comfortable and everyday with it.

      The blunt, crude dialogue is refreshing because it’s a different kind of real. It’s no more personal than Kitty telling Colossus to live in the moment, but it’s a kind of love we don’t see as often, so it feels refreshing.

      Saga is telling a love story you don’t see as often in the comic form. I think you’re right in that it’s not necessarily better than the character work you see in Marvel; it’s just different.

      I really enjoy Saga, but I couldn’t read more than one of these Romeo and Juliet stories.

      I won’t ever tire of the character conflict in Marvel.

      • March 21, 2013 at 9:04 pm

        That is a VERY well thought out and articulate answer! You should turn that into a blog post! I think I understand why BKV’s characters feel relatable to the readers – especially when the male protagonsists are often sweet, good-natured guys who have difficulties expressing themselves. But everything in SAGA just feels too manufactured for me – the praise is that the love story feels ‘real’, but to me, it feels more like what a Hollywood executive thinks love is like. It’s fresh, it’s edgy, it’s blunt, it’s crude! But to me, there’s nothing real about it. Again, this is probably just my own misplaced romanticism and juvenile tendencies…and I hope I don’t sound like I’m attacking the book or you in any way! I’m enjoying SAGA, but I have some issues with it!

      • March 21, 2013 at 9:38 pm

        No offense taken at all! It’s fun to discuss what makes the popular comics tick, and what you’re saying is perfectly legit.

        And you’re right: comic book love would make a great post. That’s definitely going on my idea list.

      • Reader
        March 28, 2013 at 12:26 pm

        ” Sure, people want to kill them, but their relationship is never under attack, ”

        The relationship seemed to be under attack from the kinds of things that attack relationships in non-science-fiction novels and IRL, not the kinds of things that attack relationships in Marvel comics.

        Stuff like the strains of living with hostile in-laws, the strains of dealing with hostile exes, the strains of disagreeing about how to treat their child, etc. :/

    • Taylor
      March 21, 2013 at 11:08 pm

      I agree- just don’t understand all the hype around this comic. BKV’s dialogue is at best cute and cheesy, and at it’s worst embarrassing bad. It’s a shame because Staples work is so good, so creative.

  2. samcactus101
    March 22, 2013 at 1:19 am

    I’m such a huge fan of this comic! Having to wait every month for a new issue KILLS me! So I decided to wait till next month til #12 comes so I can both #11 and #12 continuously first time. But when you said there’s hot sex between Alana and Marko.. Goddamn! I need to read it now!! Jesus, why do I spoil myself by reading articles about this comic???!!!

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: