Saga #17 is finally here and, after last month’s ending, this is one issue I’ve been waiting for. After a few month’s of flashbacks, we finally get back to the present storyline, so does it all payoff?
The official description from Image:
Prince Robot IV gets everyone into trouble.
After last months epic cliffhanger… holy s**t, do things go down. This issue moves hard and fast, delivering on all fronts. It is action heavy, mind you, so the broader humor seen in previous issues takes a back position. Saga #17 is all about confrontation, as it pushes characters, separate until now, together and watches the explosive results. In other words, its an immense payoff that is both effortlessly crafted and instantly satisfying.
Even in between the action, Brian K Vaughan flexes his writing muscles throughout. The cold opening hints at Saga’s wider charm and appeal, while the conversation between Prince Robot IV and Heist reaches.. a conclusion. I can’t say anything more than that because I wouldn’t want to spoil it. Again, we’re also treated to the relationship between Gwendolyn and lying cat marks them out as massively underrated characters, as they play a much more prominent part in Saga #17, which is surprisingly effective.
Visually, of course, there’s the wonderful artwork of Fiona Staples, that manages to hold up in both tense scenes and action sequences. More importantly, it does so without having to resort to moody colors or flashes of orange. It goes for the slightly more graphic approach which, when you consider the setting and the fact there’s even a talking robot, makes a bigger impact than you would otherwise think.
All in all, Saga #17 pulls it out of the proverbial bag. Equal parts tense, engaging and satisfying, the story continues to go from strength to strength without resulting to cheap gimmicks or ideas along the way. I’ll admit, at 17 issues in I thought it might have lost some of its steam by now, but the performance is just as solid as its ever been, if not more so.