Saga is finally back after four long months. Before the break, we were left hanging as Prince Robot IV cornered the family in Heist’s home. If you’re looking for a resolution this issue isn’t it, instead it focuses on filling some gaps from the previous arc. Like how Alana and Marko got to Quietus, or what happened after The Will’s ship was marooned on an alien planet, and finally introduces some new characters. The stage is now set for further character moments and growth, which is really what makes this comic-book so great!
First up, Marko! After the events of issue #11, he is left is mourning his father’s death. He is now rocking a pretty sweet beard and stares aimless into space quite a bit. This is the second time we have seen Marko become unhinged. In the first arc, he went aggro in order to saved his wife and daughter from an ambush. His sanity is further pushed by the tensions between Alana and his mother, Klara. She wants to leave her son alone, while Alana pushes him to fulfill their dream of meeting D. Oswald Heist.
Things are made worse when Klara finally reads Heist’s book, of which she promptly disapproves. Alana claims that this is the normal reaction when reading the book for the first time, but changes no minds. Klara’s reaction really stands out. She isn’t the first character to react in such a way. We’ve seen similar coldness from Prince Robot IV. Does this universe have no understanding of love and compassion? It would explain why these two species have been fighting each other for generations. Also, it would explain why Alana and Marko are trying to meet Heist, and why that is so special in the context of the story. Either way, it will be very interesting to see how these themes continue to be explored.
Speaking of which! The Will is another character who has shown compassion from the beginning, but is also clearly conflicted because of it. We have seen his love for The Stalk, and his desire to help Slave Girl (who finally gets a name, Sophie), all the while he has continued his quest to capture Alana and Marko. In this issue, The Stalk’s ghost – possibly a manifestation of his conscience – encourages him to settle down, and start a family with Gwendolyn and Sophie. Of course, he refuses, saying that The “real” Stalk would never give up her mission.
The apparition is certainly much softer than The Stalk’s shoot first ask questions later persona. Rather, it seems to be a catalyst for The Will’s internal conflict. Should he help Sophie? Should he settle down? Is he falling for Gwendolyn? However, he is also blinded by his anger over the Stalk’s death and maybe somehow getting some measure of revenge by completing his mission. I hope he will see the error in his logic before it’s too late. Finding out how his seemingly tragic tale will turn out is part of the excellent character work that BKV does on this title.
Finally, we meet some new characters, two tabloid journalists hunting Alana and Marko as well. I think these two are going to become very important characters. Fiona Staples posted the cover of issue #16 yesterday which has both of them on it. Also, knowing BKV, he does not lightly introduce new characters. Everyone has a part in this story and I do not think these two will be an exception. It’s worth noting neither of them has horns or wings. They are most likely a new species, and an entirely new perspective on the whole conflict. They may well end up helping our protagonists, but only time will tell.
Saga #13 is a great jumping-on point for series if you are new. This issue does a great job of catching up the reader on everything that has happened so far. On the other hand, if you are a seasoned Saga reader this issue may feel a little redundant and too new-reader friendly. That said, I actually enjoyed it. It’s been four months since the last issue, and this was a great refresher full of good character moments. It felt a little short, somewhat like the first half of a season premiere. They focused on getting the viewer, or in this case reader, caught up on what happened without showing anything really new. Still, it does a great job of setting up for another amazing arc and I can’t wait for the next issue.