Once again, Saga #5 demonstrates why the series is so successful. A rich and detailed universe, Saga #5 cuts no corners in demonstrating as much as possible, all whilst keeping a deep and emotional plot at its core.
First, the official description from Image:
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.
In terms of plot, this issue branches out somewhat, setting the stage for the various characters and narratives. Primarily, the story does, as always, follow Alana, Marko and the baby Hazel (who doesn’t narrate this issue, yet this is understandable given the multiple plot lines).
This leads us to one of the first true action sequences in Saga. This is crucial area for the title, with its various thematic choices on war and pacifism. Not only does it succeed in adding a darker side to Marko, but it sells the sequence wonderfully. I’ve said it before, but the art work by Fiona Staples is brilliant, the action in Saga #5 barely needs dialogue, as several pages of art sell the concept and idea completely.
Saga #5 also takes time to show the consequences of The Will’s discovery of the child slave in Saga #4.
Without spoiling the story, Saga #5 continues to show the various sides of the universe. The Will, for instance, is becoming a very rounded and developed character, despite supposedly being an antagonist.
Likewise, Saga #5 also shows more of Prince Robot IV, which is one of the more unique aspects of Saga. They’ve already been shown to be partly organic, but the revelation of pregnancy, discussed in previous issues, makes them all the more fascinating characters. Furthermore, the title constantly suggests at the snobbery of the robot characters, giving them a more complex personality – in a world full of spaceships, who else chooses to dress in finery and ride a griffin to a battle scene?
As with previous issues, Saga #5 also knows how to end at the right time. The cliffhanger ending is certainly one of the best, adding suspense to a character that most likely isn’t even meant to be liked. Yet the final moments in this issue give intrigue to the various sides and organizations in the universe, showing the conflict and turmoil that underlines the series.
Whilst it further helps to set up further narratives and interactions between the various characters, many of whom haven’t met yet, the shock of the moment adds a sense of realism to the dire situations depicted on the screen. Once again, I’m hungrily craving the next issue.