By Zack Quaintance & Cory Webber — As I’ve likely mentioned, Saga is one of my favorite things in comics, but I don’t know the series to the point that I can easily recall what happened in which issue and when (I’m bad at that kind of precise recollection anyway). This is all a means of saying that the cover of Saga #8 is one of my favorite from the entire series, and that I’d entirely forgotten it showed up this early in the book. So, what a nice surprise that was.
Anyway, this week Cory and move further into the second arc. This is the point where any book of this scope must establish itself as built for the long-term, and Saga certainly does that, building out its world quite effectively. It also continues to rely on some of the tricks that made it so relatable in the first place, lines like Hazel narrating I sometimes forget, but mom and dad had lives long before I ever came into the picture. Balancing interests is, yet again, the recipe for another strong Saga issue, plus also another killer memorable whole page splash.
Let’s take a look!
Here’s the official preview text from way back when for Saga #8:
Former soldier and new mom Alana has already survived lethal assassins, rampaging armies and alien monstrosities, but now she faces her greatest challenge yet: the in-laws.
As solicit copy goes, former soldier and new mom...is a great opener. It goes a little heavy on the in-laws trope in the description, even though to my mind the real appeal of this individual issue is pretty obviously learning more about how Marko and Alana improbably fell in love.
A Re-Reader’s Perspective by Zack: Everything I said about Saga #7 is applicable again here. What made Saga so compelling to me from its start was how each subsequent issue was better than the last, building suspense by throwing a long line of obstacles at the characters, both in terms of avoiding their inter-galactic hunters and in the increasingly fraught family dynamics they are made to maneuver. We get a little more mother-son time here, too, which does wonders to show us Marko’s character and why he is how he is (and who he’s attracted to).
A New Reader’s Perspective by Cory Webber: The harlequin novel makes a return, and it’s kind of good. Like, I kind of want to read it. Also, the splash page with Hazel’s reference to her parent’s meet-cute might be my favorite of the series. It’s funny that she likens their story to a romantic comedy while her mom is bashing her dad’s face in with an assault rifle. But I halfway suspect this is what Saga is all about...taking genre tropes and putting a unique twist on them. By far the best part of this series, however, in my opinion is the way Vaughn writes relationships. And, the relationship forming between Alana and her father-in-law is sweet, heartfelt, and genuine. As for Marko and his mother, you can tell he gets his softer persuasions from his father. Overall, I am loving the exploration of these relationships, and I can’t wait to see more pieces added to this beautifully complex, yet familiar, puzzle. Especially given who the surprise character is that Vaughan introduced us to on the final page — hoo boy!!
Cory’s New Reader Predictions: Gwendolyn will become a favorite of mine. I don’t exactly trust everything Vaughn leads me to believe here.
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 tech reporter by day and freelance writer by night/weekend. He Tweets compulsively about storytelling and comics as BatmansBookcase.