Saga #12 offers another diversion away from the normal focus on Marko and Alana. Just like previous focus on The Will, Saga #12 follows Prince Robot IV, a character that’s been missing of late. So, what’s he been up to, and does it justify moving away from the main cast?
The official description from Image:
Prince Robot IV makes his move.
Honestly, and this might come as little surprise, I love this issue. The opening scene offers a fantastic cold start, yet focuses on much of the war themes and aspects Saga has been known to dip into. It doesn’t even matter that it features a giant talking mouse, it somehow still resonates on more gritty level. This, of course, sets the stage for the rest of the issue, but it offers insight into Prince Robot IV. Similar to The Will, there doesn’t seem to be any ‘wholly-evil’ types in Saga, and that definitely gives it depth.
Since this issue has a different focus, there are slight changes in Brian K Vaughan’s writing. Most of this is due to the dialogue; Prince Robot IV is a very different character to the usual heroes. Whilst there’s little action for the most part, its none the less a very tense and dramatic issue. Its also highly scenic and cinematic in its setting. Even if an old-lighthouse doesn’t make much sense in space-setting, it adds character to the plot.
Again, readers are treated to Fiona Staple’s art, which makes a lot of the writing and setting more plausible. The drab greys and blues make for a very cold setting, which only adds to the tension and atmosphere. Whilst this issue doesn’t give Staples the chance to design all manner of weird and wonderful designs, there’s still some ample space. Case in point will be the walking seal cub, arguably the cutest thing shown in Saga so far.
All in all, this is an excellent issue of Saga. I could even argue its good for new readers, as it serves as a good stand-alone sampling. In any case, it offers a fresh look at the Saga universe, and shows plenty more depth and versatility.