The Saga Re-Read: Saga #5

By Zack Quaintance & Cory Webber — We crossed the 50 weeks remaining mark! Congratulations for all of you who have made this trip with us. I can only speak for myself, but re-reading at this slow and careful pace has been a real treat for me so far, giving me a chance to really live within this story and consider all that I know about what’s to come before moving forward. I hope you’re having a similar experience.

Meanwhile, during this hiatus the creative team is making itself somewhat visible. I highly encourage all of you re-readers to check out this interview from Entertainment Weekly with both Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, in which they discuss that plot point from Saga #54. Also, if you happen to be one of those mythical folks who doesn’t have a gigantic surplus of comics to read, Vaughan and Staples also recently built a Goodreads list for fans of Saga, which contains some other recent favorites of mine such as Ice Cream Man, as well as some other books that are all new to me and soon to join my ever-expanding to read list.

That does it for this week’s preamble. As always, thanks for joining us on our epic journey. Onward!

Saga #5

Here’s the official preview text from way-back-when for Saga #5:

The smash hit ongoing series from Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples continues, as Prince Robot IV's hunt for Hazel and her parents takes a deadly turn.

And boy does it. It’s still so early in this story, and already we have Vaughan and Staples slamming various character motivations around and making their creations pay the price. Good writing is often as simple as giving characters a clear desire, putting giant obstacles in their ways, and depicting how they respond. Saga has always had an impressive command over that, and this issue is a great example. Plus, that cover!

A Re-Reader’s Perspective by Zack: Looking back, the amount of space dedicated to humanizing The Will and Prince Robot IV in the first arc is interesting. It’s easy to think of them both as side characters who were incidentally fleshed out. That’s not entirely the case, though, considering maybe about a third of the very first arc went to giving them human and relatable motivations for who they become and how they later interact with our heroes. This issue is also notable for being the first appearance of Marko’s defining character flaw, his violent bouts of rage. Eep.

A New Reader’s Perspective by Cory Webber: This issue starts off with another signature Saga splash page of the mundane with Prince Robot IV on the toilet. I love that he’s reading the harlequin novel he confiscated as evidence back in #2. Now, let’s talk about Marko, specifically his sword skills. Umm, remind me not to piss him off. Also, I love how he goes all Kill Bill on the soldiers, but Alana shoots him before he can kill them...and he thanks her for shooting him. This pretty much sums up their relationship—she grounds him, by any means necessary. Now, let’s talk about The Will the Lord of shit vacations. It was nice to see him try and rescue the child. I like that Vaughan is creating sympathy for characters who are bad. Nothing about this book is black or white; there’s lots of gray. As for the ending, I definitely did not see that coming.

Cory’s New Reader Predictions: The Stalk is okay. Her heart is somewhere in her large abdomen. And her and the Will will go on endless shitty vacations with their newly-adopted and rescued child.

Thanks for joining us, and be sure to check back next Friday for a discussion of Saga #6! Tweet us @BatmansBookcase with your own thoughts, and we may run them here next week…

Cory Webber is a work-from-home entrepreneur who also reads and reviews comics for fun. Find him on Twitter at @CeeEssWebber. He lives in Lehi, Utah with his wife and three sons.

Zack Quaintance is a journalist who also writes fiction and makes comics. Find him on Twitter at @zackquaintance. He lives in Sacramento, California.