Pick of the Week

Pick of the Week – 08.15.2012 – Saga #6

What did the
iFanboy
community think?

1303
Pulls
Avg Rating: 4.8
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 59.7%
 
Users who pulled this comic:
Story by Brian K. Vaughan
Art by Fiona Staples
Cover by Fiona Staples

Size: 32 pages
Price: 2.99

This is getting to be challenging. Checking the records, Saga has garnered Pick of the Week status for issues 1, 2, 4, and now 6. That’s a 67% win rate. Good for them. Good for Vaughan, Staples, and Image Comics. For us? For you? That depends. Because what is left to say about this, other than, apparently, we were so starved for new and exciting content that when Brian Vaughan came back to us with something like this, we were floored. But the thing is, Saga doesn’t seem to be reinventing the wheel. It’s not like I’m reading this and thinking that there’s never been anything like it, and after Saga, everything will change. That’s not really happening. I just finished the last page, and thought, “that was one solid comic book, and I had a lot of fun reading it, and I would very much like to read more now.”

I knew I was in trouble when Saga #6 delivered the following line:

“Listen to my voice boy. I aim to murder you… right after I murder everything you ever loved.”

That’s a Preacher quality line right there, and it took the character who said it, The Will, right up another bunch of notches on the “formidable foe” scale. If he really even is a foe. We learned before that he’s got a soft spot for kids, and he’s chasing after new parents with a kid. There are levels upon levels working here!

From there we were once again treated to the slightly odd and odder conglomeration of characters on this massive chase throughout a universe that is not ours. They delivered on the Rocketship Forest, which feels like a concept absolutely no one has used before. They’re setting up rivalries among different sets of characters, as well as personal tension among allies. Because being new parents is tough enough without multiple groups chasing after you, and being from different sides of the tracks on top of that. The heady mix of all these things, all strong, makes up for what might be the strongest new series we’ve seen in a very long time.

Let’s talk about that cast of characters. I can’t think of a single one that isn’t interesting, right down to the baby, who hasn’t actually said anything in real time. It’s easy to forget, she’s telling us about all this after the fact. Her narration adds crucial plot and context. Marko and Alana are instantly recognizable as people we know, maybe even people we are, regardless of horns and wings. Prince Robot IV is a character I could read a spin off series about already, and I want to know just what drives The Will very much indeed. There is so much going for Saga, and we are just getting started with this. At this point, I’d hazard to say that if I could pick only one ongoing monthly comic book, I’d go with this one, solely because I have no idea what I’m going to get, and I love that.

I’ve said for a very long time that Brian K. Vaughan is the master of the single issue, in a world where there are few of those kinds of masters left. While he got me with the above line, he won me over this week for the last page. We think the heroes have made their brave escape, but it turns out that they were followed, and because in this world they have to deal with teleportation, the wooden rocketship is invaded, and a fight breaks out. Pretty standard, right? Then the last page kicks in, and things get more complicated. It’s a perfect example of what makes Vaughan so good. He’s always raising the stakes, and the pieces are constantly moving. You put any of these issues down, and you’re fiending for the next chapter. It’s what a comic is supposed to do.

Artist Fiona Staples said that she hopes to draw every issue of this ongoing series. I know we’re only six issues in, but it’s such a good sign that you’ve got a creative team who wants to keep going. Indefinitely. They’ve created a world, and right now, it’s the hard stuff, where they’re setting all sorts of pieces in place, and before long, they’re going to start getting knocked over left and right. That’ll be the fun part, which means we’re not even in the fun part yet. How exciting is that?

Josh Flanagan
josh@ifanboy.com
Not just murder everyone you love, but everything. That’s rough.

Comments

  1. This book is so good that no one accuses the ifanboys of being on the take!

  2. I want SO MUCH for The Will to end up being a good guy (like their Han Solo)…. PLEASE LET IT HAPPEN!

  3. Jacen Chris (@jcbhatestweeter) says:

    And now we have to wait a few months for more. Le sigh.

  4. I loved Runaways. I loved Y the Last Man. I suppose I keep comparing Saga to those titles that Vaughan blew me away with. I’ve opened the past few issues saying to myself “Maybe something will happen this issue”. It has just bored me. It’s pretty to look at, but has bored me. I guess I’ll give it this one last shot before the break it looks like they’re taking. I want this series to wow me.

    Was Ex Machina this durned slow?

    • I never really liked Runaways that much. I mean it was good, but it never connected as much with me.

      Anyway, if you didn’t like it before, you’re not going to like it now. Read the trades when it’s done.

    • Different strokes and all that jazz. I think I was also just incredibly excited for Saga based on my prior experience. I don’t mean to say it’s bad, it just doesn’t connect with me in the way Runaways didn’t with you.

      That, or maybe I just want big goony action like OMAC and X-O Manowar right now, hah.

    • There are alot of new science fiction comics out right now. I haven’t read them all, but I’ve sampled a fair number. Saga is the only one that really epitomizes what I love in my sci-fi: new ideas and concepts illustrated through storytelling. If you don’t feel a sense of wonder from discovering a tree that’s really a space rocket, then I don’t know what else to say.

    • As I read on below, I see that tree rockets are not a new idea. My bad, I still thought it was cool.

  5. Why am I not reading this yet ? Oh yeah- financial penury. I gotta get me some of that saga.

  6. Very exciting.

    That is absolutely a preacher quaity line. I loved that last page. I can’t wait to see where this goes next.

  7. A tree rocket ship, surely that has never been done before, i certainly have never seen it before, after how many years for comics and fantasy/Science fiction, to have something totally new (i think new, certainly new for me) is incredible and then to root it back into reality as she is enthusing about the shower pressure. I sort of wish i could wait so i could have the whole story to luxuriate in but i just can’t and i am glad as i think this is something special in issues and will be something again in trades. Keeps on giving. now the wait till 7.

    • New to me, too. And exciting new, not just new for newness sake.

    • In fairness, Hyperion had tree-ships. But stil, totally awesome and beautiful work by Staples.

    • I didn’t know those books existed. They sound interesting. Thank you for pointing them out.

    • I tried to do that, wait the couple years for the series to be finished, then go back and read the whole thing in one go. That’s what I did with Y: The Last Man and Ex Machina. However, I loved both of those series so much, and seeing the reception to Saga #1 was so overwhelming, that I gave in a figured “Hey, it’s only one fantastic massive issue for $2.99, without ads. I can read it, then come back to the series in a couple years”.

      Here I am now, issue #6, with my local comic book shop now having this book on my list of monthly pickups. But it’s sooooooooooo worth it. I so completely and genuinely enjoy reading every issue. I agree that it’s nothing mind blowing, but it’s just so enjoyable, and truly that is all I’m looking for. I’m sure when all is said and done, this series will have a massive impact on me like Y and Ex Machina did on me, but I really just want to find something that I enjoy month to month, and this is one of the now many books each month that I have found that satiates my desire for great art.

    • Nice to know I wasn’t the only one one thinking of Hyperion’s tree-ships (what a great series).

      I have to say my favorite thing about SAGA is that I have absolutely know idea what will happen when I turn the page. They could introduce a fantastic concept then destroy it the next issue. (Sorry Stalk)

      As they are showing the rocketship I am thinking this could be a great setting/character for years….or it could crash next issue. This series is wonderful.

    • Shout out to Hyperion! I loved that series!

    • Trees used as space craft are definitely not a new concept. They don’t crop up very often but its certainly been done.

  8. after reading, look at the cover again, it was gorgeous before and now has a whole new life.

  9. I just put it down. Amazing. Again. I think this was my favorite issue so far. It’s really getting interesting to see things beginning to intertwine. And like Josh said, This is only the sixth issue!

    More please. Like … right now.

  10. It took me awhile to actually love this book, now I’m loving the ride and the weird nerd-woody from being pleasantly surprised from it being on the wed comic release list.

    omg, that tiny baby so adorable in those jammies.

  11. Ha! After I finished this issue, I immediately thought, “That was fuckin’ awesome, it has to be the POW on iFanboy.” Great pick and review Josh.

    I would love a Prince Robot IV spinoff, or a The Will/Freelancers spinoff; really, I just want to read more of this world. For me it wasn’t the last page that got me, but a couple before, with the “Holy fu–“. I audibly gasped, hopefully they’re just messing with us.
    Also, I can’t wait to see some of the submissions for the costume contest next issue; that letter column has been a blast to read.

  12. Great review. It definitely has that down to earth relatable feeling while being completely otherworldly and i think thats its charm. If you can’t find something to like about this book or connect with, your a hard one to please. i’m leaning towards The Will being they’re Han Solo type too (he already has the pants) crossed with Boba Fett, they’re two characters with characteristics and moral codes that fit this guy perfectly. I’ll even bet BKV thought the same thing.

  13. In a few ways, this book has me interested like I was interested in Star Wars back in 1977.

    It’s been said: The Will is a lot like Han Solo, and there’s his dog ( Chewie). Than there is Prince Robot, somewhat Darth Vader-esque. Spaceships (Tree ship) magic (The Force), ghosts, aliens, it’s all there. Add some sex and a baby and you got something fresh.

    Keep it coming. Great Stuff. Could be a great film some day.

    • I keep hearing this Star Wars analogy and I find it extremely forced. At it’s root, Star Wars is NOT about a couple, this series is. Yea, the story is set in Space and feels original, but that’s about the only analogy I see. The pairing you list above make my argument …Prince Robot IV = Darth Vadar? Seriously? Right now this book is about a couple on the run, not a budding Knight rising to free the People from a dictator. A couple enjoying and deepening their love vs. a very confused love triangle…

      But I agree the feeling of excitement is exactly the same!

    • @urthona–a completely agree with you. I don’t get a Star Wars connection at all and really don’t understand the comparisons.

    • You can find parallels in any comparison if you look hard enough.

      In college, I was in a creative writing class and I wrote Sci-Fi. You had to read other students’ pieces and comment. There was one kid and his only frame of reference for Sci-Fi – nay, Speculative Fiction – was Terminator 2. Over and over, I’d have to hear about Terminator 2 this and Terminator 2 that. Anyway…

    • @grandturk–totally know what you mean. I college i thought that Faust was the first story ever written since everything kept getting compared to it.

    • There’s a lot of comparisons you can make to Star Wars with SAGA. Both Science-Fantasy, both Epic space operas, both loaded with bold action and memorable set pieces, etc…

      Trying to draw direct comparisons character to character is fool-hearty though. Two things can hit similar chords without being remotely the same thing.

      The Will is NOT Han Solo. Prince Robot is NOT Darth Vader. Their roles aren’t even particularly similar.

    • Can we call Prince Robot “Probot?”

  14. Was Hazel wearing Adventure Time PJ’s? Just when I thought this book could bring me no additional joy.

    I love the way that magic works in this world. It’s very easy for writers to fall into Dr.Strange territory where magic is basically the plot, working or not in service to steering the story conveniently. Here, however, magic seems to have concrete consequences for it’s use, consequences that add to the story and the characters rather than being a means to an end. Vaughn did is in Runaways, with the Staff of One, and it’s always refreshing to read.

    Great review, Josh!

  15. I’ve been so out of the weekly comics loop recently, stupidly busy with work and reading a few cheap back issues digitally (still reticent to pay full price to look at pictures of a comic on a computer screen but that’s my problem) that I totally forgot to go into my local comic book shop OR order this online. It’s only been out 24 hours and the cheapest copy I can find on ebay is 15p more than most comics sell for in the UK. I guess that’s supply and demand for you, you glad people are picking this up. I don’t want it to be one of those cult hits that get’s cancelled because no one reads it.

  16. Maybe something’s wrong with me, but I’m not that hyped about this book. Nice ideas, no doubt. But this whole Romeo and Juliet-conflict just seems like a very old story devide to me. The book just didn’t catch my enthusiasm, and I stopped it after #3.

  17. I clearly just don’t get it. I put the book on my ‘buy a month later for $1.99 because it’s not that great’ list after the 4th issue. The art is excellent and the letter column is generally amusing but the story and concepts fall flat for me.

    • Interesting. I’ve just ordered the first trade because it was like 4.99 from DCBS – should get it in a couple of months. Usually when the reviews are so gushing, nothing can live up to the hype. I was pleasantly surprise when I read the first half of Y that it lived up to the reviews.

  18. this was excellent. That last page was so awesomely surprising. The consistency of great work thats fun to read is why i keep coming back.

    This week, i also want to give an honorable mention to Saucer Country. Really fun one-shot.

  19. Each time I see this comic on the pile, I know what is the first thing I am going to read.

  20. Josh seeing this book as the POTW made me groan. “Really?” come on – look at this week
    1. Daredevil with Allred
    2. Wonder Woman with Chiang
    3. Batwoman with JH Williams III

    And after I was finished read, there really were no contenders to the throne. The beats of The Will speaking to the executioner of the Stalk were a little too fast for me, as I wanted to see the stirring that I did when we last saw him (The Will – love that name) lose it on the sex planet.

    But honestly, what the hell ever, I love this book, I love the ideas, I love the designs, I love that Effin Tree Rocketship, Loved the Nanny, Just as I am sure I will love the latest characters as much as I loved their introductions. And I am so bloody happy that the letters page start off with his one to the fans. There is no other book which I love more reading from cover to cover.

    Strong pick sir. Good pick

  21. Great review. I couldn’t agree more. I had to stop and read that line from The Will twice. He’s not happy and a large amount of people are going to die.

  22. I want to read this just so I can see why that one guy has a TV for a head.

  23. It is far away, if it ever occurs at all, but I really want to see what it means for that baby to be a hybrid if their species.

  24. I read Saga and agree that it is one of the best books on the market today, but please iFanboy stop it with making this pick of the week! There were a ton of great books that came out this week that nobody else was talking about. The reboot of Harbinger from Valiant has been fantastic and issue #3 came out this week. That could could have easily been pick of the week instead of Saga for the 6th time. We know you love Saga and that all the writers of iFanboy love it. WE GET IT! There is absolutely no need to continue making it pick of the week every time a new issue comes out.

    • They pick the book that they enjoyed the most that week. It would be dumb not to pick a book just because it’s been PotW before now.

      Stuff like the pick of the week reviews bring in new readers, I know I wasn’t going to read saga but after seeing how many times it had been made PotW and hearing it being spoken about in the podcast I gave it a try, and I probably wouldn’t have bothered with it if not for these things.

      Anyway, my pick was wonder woman #12 but it was pretty tight between ww and saga.

  25. Saga #6 was the book Josh enjoyed most this week. for me it was Wonder Woman #6, for you perhaps it was Harbinger #3. for many it was Daredevil or Batwoman…see how this works? if you love an issue write a review for it.

    and remember the pick of the week is for a single issue not series. and for the record it’s Saga’s 4th pick not 6th.

    • Post in reply to Scarface.

      (Stupid lack of an EDIT button).

    • I realize how Pick of The Week works, but isn’t the whole point of it to help highlight one of the best books and turn on new people that might not being reading it? Given the amount of Saga coverage on this site you’d be hard pressed to find anyone that doesn’t know how good the book is. I just think after the 4th time being Pick of the Week its getting a bit redundant for readers. Not saying Harbinger was better, but just different and that book is criminally underrated and could have benefit from the spotlight.

  26. Count me among those who were surprised and disappointed that the incredible WONDER WOMAN #12 was gypped out of the POTW spot for this. To each his own, I guess, but… boo iFanboy.

  27. When the trade comes out for Saga is it going to get pick of the week as well?

  28. I didn’t want to read this review until. Read he issue (which I finally did.) I absolutely agreeing Josh. If I could only get one comic each month, it would be Saga. Best book being put out today. Bar none.

  29. So if I jump on with issues at #7 and save ’em up until after I read the first trade I’m good, right?

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