Home > Comics, Reviews > Comic Review: Saga #12

Comic Review: Saga #12

Saga #12 cover by Fiona Staples with Prince Robot IV

Writer Brian K. Vaughn and artist Fiona Staples deliver a sinister Prince Robot IV story in Saga #12, the last installment in Alana and Marko’s interstellar love story before the book goes on hiatus.

Saga #12 doesn’t quite hit all the notes we’ve become accustomed to with this series, but it’s still another strong outting for the creative team.

Saga #12 fleshes out Prince Robot IV as a soldier and reflects on the implications of this battle-hardened character by providing a flashback to one of his battles during the neverending Wreath/Landfall war. It’s a short sequence punctuated by idealism, innocence, and brutality all at once, brilliantly rendered as always by Fiona Staples.

The flashback also includes two images of gay sex flashing across Prince Robot IV’s face as he reels from an injury sustained on the battlefield. They’re small, decidedly throwaway images, but they sparked controversy on Tuesday when word spread that Apple would not carry Saga #12 in the Comixology iOS store because of the gay content.

The issue has since been resolved, and Apple apparently is not to blame. Rather, Comixology was afraid Saga #12 would violate the Apple App Store rules, so Comixology wasn’t going to post it. Uproar on Twitter yesterday quickly changed everyone’s minds, it would seem, and Saga #12 is available as usual.

Controversy aside, the story is pretty straightforward. Prince Robot IV is following up on D. Oswald Heist, the reclusive author of Alana’s romantic inspiration A Nighttime Smoke, in hopes of gaining some insight into the psychology of his targets.

Heist has all the characteristics of a trademark shut-in genius, but he also has some amusing and insightful views on writing and on war. His perspective on war in particular strongly echoes Prince Robot IV’s opening flashback, and provides a nice through line for Prince Robot’s character.

Brian K. Vaughn has made it tough to peg a bad guy so far in this series. He’s managed to make The Will a sympathetic antagonist, but as the other Landfall hunter, Prince Robot IV has, until this point, remained too impenetrable to determine whether he’s a good or a bad person. In Saga #12, that curtain is finally pulled back and we get to see him for what he really is.

Naturally, the comic ends on a cliffhanger that, while expected, nevertheless suggests more interesting narrative tension to come when the series resumes.

Brian K. Vaughn starts to bring his disparate plot threads together and Fiona Staples draws some cute fuzzy otter creatures – and some other, more controversial things – in Saga #12, another solid installment in the lives of Alana, Marko, and baby Hazel.

8 out of 10

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  1. April 11, 2013 at 10:01 pm

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