Saga #7

Story by
Art by
Fiona Staples
Letters by
Cover by
Image Comics

I would say that Brian K. Vaughan throws some twists and unexpected moments at the reader over the course of "Saga" #7, but the entire issue -- for that matter the entire series to this point -- is built upon unpredictability. How else do you explain organic rocket trees, mystical crash helms and disemboweled ghost babysitters?

The crazy, unpredictable part is just how comfortably unsettling Vaughan and co-creator Fiona Staples manage to make this issue. Sure, it is the continuation of the longer story, but thanks to Vaughan's continued narration from Hazel, "Saga" #7 hits the highlights strongly enough for new readers to get a sense of what's happening and where things are going from the opening panel. Yes, those familiar with the long game are going to enjoy this a whole lot more, but Vaughan and Staples pack enough in this issue to relax the reader before smacking them in the eyes with things that simply cannot be unseen and scenes that cannot be forgotten. True testament to the lasting enjoyability of this property is the fact that nearly a quarter of a year has gone by, and I've reviewed several dozen comics in between, but "Saga" #6 is still fresh and memorable, unlike some of last week's comics.

Sure, it helps that Staples' art is magnificently, deceptively simple, gorgeously bright and downright disgusting. Her drawings are masterfully composed and centered around characters with very human expressions. Additionally, Staples employs color schemes she uses for different settings and emotions that simply sing. The flashback scenes of Marko growing up on Wreath are filled with yellow skies that just work for the setting, the characters and the story. When Marko and his mother arrive on a foreign planetoid, the colors shift once more, transforming to soaking earthtones. Staples takes it farther by softening the landscape of that new world, giving it a haunted appearance.

"Saga" #7 combines the best elements of a family drama with bold adventure and twists it just enough to make it feel like something you've never read before. The plot might be simple, but the way Vaughan and Staples dress it up makes the tale so damn unpredictable, yet so perfectly -- perfect. If you're reading comics for entertainment and want some stunning surprises in that entertainment, then you really should at least give "Saga" a shot. Be warned though, there are things in this issue that will redefine your expectations of comics.

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