By Zack Quaintance & Cory Webber — This is it folks, the last issue before we start the final 50-issue home stretch. We're officially within a year of finishing this project! I can't speak for Cory (whom I know is itching to read ahead at a faster pace...and who could blame him?), but I've gotten quite a bit out of this little re-read project so far.
Part of the logic for doing this was to keep the story and the characters fresh in my mind during the one-year hiatus. This series is so well-done, though, that doing a slow re-read is having the added advantage of making me aware of layers and character growth I might have glazed over during my first read, when every time I cracked an issue I was mostly just concerned with what's going to happen?! Essentially, that's all a verbose way of noting that taking Saga at a slow, weekly pace is a new experience for me as a re-reader and I'm noticing things I might have missed the first time.
Here's the official preview text from way back when for Saga #4:
Welcome to SEXTILLION, a distant planet where even your darkest fantasies become reality. See why everyone's talking about this hit new ongoing adventure from BRIAN K. VAUGHAN and FIONA STAPLES!
Oooo, that's all a bit more descriptive than the last two weeks. Sextillion! How exciting. The solicit has also segued from touting the book as a controversy to embracing it's roll as a budding mega-hit, the likes of which Image (and, really, the industry) hadn't seen since Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead, which took a few years and a successful TV adaptation to really get rolling. Saga, meanwhile, was a hit right from the start. Now on to your takes!
A Re-Reader’s Perspective by Zack: This issue gives us another of Saga's distinctive intro pages, one of the first of many to come. Really, this whole issue is another pretty slow one, especially as it pertains to our central family with all the main action happening off-panel and the dramatics relying on conversation. It is interesting to look back at, though, because it depicts a desire on Vaughan's part to make even his villainous characters sympathetic right from the start (talking of The Will here). Sometimes I feel like comics writers become enamored with villains and backwards engineer sympathy. Not here, though. This issue also has that panel that I reference in my spoiler heavy Why Saga #54 Hurts So Bad piece. Sigh.
A New Reader’s Perspective by Cory Webber: Well, Sextillion is, umm, interesting. I’ve heard of these unique opening pages that Saga likes to throw our way, and this one was unique, for sure. Moreover, I quite enjoyed the back-and-forth banter between Alana and Izabel. I feel that relationship is going to grow on me. Also, it was nice to see that The Will can be sympathetic, at least as it applies to saving child sex slaves. And, it was nice to see that flat-headed slaver get his comeuppance. We have been getting a lot of great personal, character moments and relationship/world building, but that appears to be changing soon based on the last page. I can’t wait to see how the action and mayhem unfurls.
Cory’s New Reader Predictions: We will be seeing the wrath of Gwendolyn, at some point. And I cannot wait for it!
Thanks for joining us, and be sure to check back next Friday for a discussion of Saga #5! Tweet us @BatmansBookcase with your own thoughts, and we may run them here next week...
Cory Webber is a work-from-home entrepreneur who also reads and reviews comics for fun. Find him on Twitter at @CeeEssWebber. He lives in Lehi, Utah with his wife and three sons.