Book Review – Saga vol. 4 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

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After they fled to safety, the family have to conceal their identities so no-one can find them. Alana is working on the Open Circuit, an entertainment show, while Marko is looking after Hazel and trying to keep things together, even though he feels that he and Alana are drifting apart. Meanwhile, on the Robot planet, a new princeling has been born but Prince Robot IV is nowhere to be found, and some of the common class are tired of the way royalty get the best of everything…

Saga continues its excellent, crazy run with another fine volume. This one takes the focus away from the overall conflict and focuses on the theme of family and what it takes to keep one together. We finally see Alana struggle with the turns her life has taken, and there’s some nice commentary on the nature of entertainment and what it’s used for. In one scene there’s a cynical attitude expressed when someone wants to make a political statement, saying that if you want to get people’s attention you have to do it with sex, the actual truth of the matter won’t work. I appreciated that one of the characters was named K-Fabe, a reference to kayfabe, a popular term in wrestling regarding the way events are staged to appear real. The Open Circuit seems to be a cross between wrestling and soap operas, and it, and the people involved, are treated with some disdain by Vaughan.

The splash pages and artwork are awesome as always, and a few supporting characters pop up briefly to set seeds that will flourish later on. But the reason why I love this volume so much is because of the focus it gives to the Robots. So far Prince Robot IV has been my favourite character and now we get a better idea of how the world is structured. Dengo, the custodian, is angry at the ruling class because he thinks he’s been trodden on. And we actually get an appearance from King Robot himself, which cracked me up.

I’ve loved every page of Saga so far, and this one is no different. I never know what to expect and it’s one of the few comics where I exclaim out loud in shock multiple times per volume. I look forward to this one continuing for a long time.

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