Spoilers for Saga #11 follow.
When I first opened Saga #11, I was sitting in the lobby of Big-O Tires waiting for an oil change.
And I was like Wow, that sure is a giant splash page of two people fucking right on the first page.
So I quickly flipped to the next page. And on page two, it was naked people talking about how they'd just finished fucking.
So yeah it wasn't a very good comic to be reading in public so I put it back in my bag and read Bravest Warriors instead.
But when I did get around to reading Saga, in the privacy of my own home, it was a legitimately great comic.
First of all, that sex scene? Pretty hot. Not just because of the graphic first page (not the most graphic thing Fiona Staples has shown us in the book to date), but because of the banter afterward. Alana acknowledging she lost control, with a few choice dirty words -- it's a side of her we haven't seen before, and it's sexy.
But it's also funny. Vaughan's good at witty dialogue -- and it bears adding that these characters have their own voice. There may be a whiff of Y in the deadpan lines that make me chuckle, but it doesn't feel like Yorick Brown arguing with Agent 355 and Dr. Mann. It's most definitely Alana and Marko talking -- it feels easy and natural from these two warrior fugitives in love.
But that's a flashback. Specifically, to Hazel's conception. Back in the present, we pick up at last month's cliffhanger: the Will has found the fugitives, there's a hatching baby Timesuck about to wipe out both ships, and the Will's ship's hull's been breached and Lying Cat's been sucked out into space. The end of last issue strongly implied Lying Cat was dead, but it was a fakeout; the Will is having none of it. He leaps out into space without a suit, saves Lying Cat, and gets the fuck out of Dodge. It's the strongest Fuck Yeah! moment in the issue; the Will lives up to his name and rescues a beloved character, Hazel's narration and the laws of physics be damned.
But while the Will's party makes it out unscathed, Marko's doesn't.
Marko's mother urges him to take the crash helms and teleport out with Alana and Hazel. Marko instead throws them into the ship's reactor, thinking that this way his parents won't have to sacrifice themselves. He's half-right.
It turns out the peaceful, pastoral image of Marko's father threading flowers on the cover is foreshadowing -- because he doesn't make it out. He uses the last of his strength casting a spell to hold the ship together. And, barring any further unreliable-narrator shenanigans from Hazel, he's really gone. We've known it was coming for months, but we didn't know it would be so soon.
This book, man.
I'm not sure when the last time was that I read a comic that put me through this wide a gamut of emotions -- quite possibly The Love Bunglers. Vaughan and Staples sing here; it may be the best issue yet of what's already become one of my favorite series.
If you're not checking out Saga -- and you read this far down anyway -- give it a look. #1 is free on Comixology.
And if you dig Brian K Vaughan, check out The Private Eye, his new DRM-free, pay-what-you-want comic with Marcos Martin on art.