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Saga, Vol. 5 Paperback – September 15, 2015
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The Star Wars-esque Montague-Capulet w/baby story continues here as Vaughn weaves a bunch of characters through multiple storylines. Major characters die, the Will returns and the volume ends with some immediate issues resolved but a number of storylines opening up further (another reviewer mentioned how the sudden killing off of characters if very George R.R. Martin, and I agree...I also think Vaughan likes to continue to expand the universe like Mr. Martin as well).
Now, in this fifth collection of monthly comics, that early promise is still being kept.If anything, the tension just keeps getting stronger, disaster even closer. The authors have a knack for pacing. And, in an ongoing epic like this, that means managing the cast of characters. We've lost a few along the way, but gained a few also. Only a few, not so many that you'll lose track of who's who, and with enough mixed loyalties to keep the reader guessing.
Two more things keep a long-lived series alive. First, the open invitation to new readers. Jumping into the middle of a story can be tough for a first-timer, but this makes it easy to dive in without tedious (or at least obvious) recaps every few issues. Second, there's sequel slump - specifically, the lack of sequel slump. It's easy and distressingly common for a series to fall into a rut, or to lose the vitality of script and art that pulled me in initially. As yet, that remains in the future for the Saga saga - and I hope it's the very far future.
The book is progressive, positive, and hard-hitting. It hits on many topics that affect us as a society today but because it's written in as Science Fiction it can reflect on them without the appearance of pandering. I would recommend this to just about anyone, and should definitely be on the radar for younger generations.
I love this story and its progression and a nerd and a new parent myself.
Marko and Alana have some solid character development in this arc. Staples' renderings of Hazel make her role in the plot all the more heartbreaking, as does her older self's narration. Vaughan uses a dark sense of humor and jarring moments of violence here to greater effect than in the previous volumes. The flashback to how Landfall and Wreath's war has created massive devastation across other worlds pulls the reader into almost wanting to identify with Dengo and the Last Revolution.
For me, Saga has only gained more depth and a powerfully mature use of pathos in this latest installment. Can't wait for Volume 6!
As a side note, I wish Amazon were better about delivering graphic novels undamaged. My edition came with the back's bottom corner wrinkled.