Saga #43 (Image Comics)
Like the other Image mega series before it, Saga is putting out a special 25 cent issue to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Image Comics. Unlike the other books that did this, Saga’s special issue is actually pretty well-suited for new readers to pick up. The Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples smash hit indie has had a lot happen in the past 42 issues, but surprisingly that is consolidated pretty well in Saga #43. However, those of us who have been following since the beginning will probably find ourselves pretty bored while reading it.
That’s not to say that Brian K Vaughan’s script is just a rehash of what’s come before in this series. Vaughan does pepper in some forward momentum for our thrown together family. But after a lengthy break (one that had a massive emotional gut punch at that), spending a good chunk of the book’s pages to get a new reader up to speed is a bit of a letdown. Granted, we do get some resolutions from the cliffhanger, but there’s not a whole lot here to make you feel like the wait was worth it.
On the art side of things, Fiona Staples is still on top of her game. Saga is a wonderful showcase for her incredible design work, and she really brings it with this issue. From the Owl-like creatures to the absolutely disgusting um….”human waste” creatures, Staples continues to use Saga as her wonderfully weird canvas. If this is your first issue, you’re in for a treat.
While it is a bit of a bummer to have this issue of Saga be a little lackluster after such a long wait, if the trade off is that someone new tries this out and gets hooked, then it’s worth it. 25 cents is a lot easier to part with than 10 bucks for a trade, and while you’ll still need to read the back issues to really get some of the subplots, this issue of Saga is a great issue for a new reader. And if you’ve been reading since the beginning like me, maybe you should pick up an extra copy to give to a friend.