I’m not really sure how I feel about this volume. It was good—well-written and beautifully illustrated—but, for some reason, I just didn’t feel quite the same way about it as I did the first few volumes.
I think one reason might be because the characters I so loved have been disappointing lately. The Will was still a complete mess. Sophie was frustrating with how badly she wanted to go off and learn to be a freelancer (an assassin, basically) despite being ten years old. Ghus wasn’t even in this one at all. Marko hardly seemed to have much part in the story and has been kind of flat. Robot IV was still my favorite even though he wasn’t as snarky and hilarious as he used to be.
Actually, speaking of IV, he’s seemed to have the most development lately, and, since my reviews for this series are always really informal and more just my thoughts about things, I want to talk about him. I’m not an expert on depression, but I’m pretty sure he has it. *SPOILER* He’s been away from his son all this time, and his wife was killed, so unlike Marko and Alana when they were away from Hazel, he’s alone. In a past volume, he had nightmares about his wife’s death, but in this one he was shown to have really crazy nightmares on a regular basis. In one of the nightmares, it was even revealed that he thinks he’s a bad father. I think he might even feel guilty about Izabel’s death since he was the one who had the idea to go look for the fuel (even though she volunteered). And he clearly has started feeling guilty about all the people he’s killed in the past since they were part of his nightmares. Also, in this volume, he took fadeaway (a drug), despite having never used it before, told Alana that it made him see all his sins with total clarity, and then he was about to kill himself and leave his son with Alana. And I mean, just look at him in Vol. 4 vs. him in Vol. 7: *END SPOILER*
So poor IV had all sorts of issues. But I really don’t think he’s such a bad guy—at least, not anymore. As I said in a previous review, yeah, he’s killed people, but so have lots of people who fought in the war; every side thinks they’re the ones in the right, and he was protecting his people. Ok, yes, I will concede that in the past he had little regard for the lives of others and not much of a conscience, but he’s obviously realizing that and feeling guilty for his actions now. And for all his mistakes, he doesn’t seem like a bad father—he traveled across the galaxy to find his son and then took him to a remote planet where they could live as safely as possible, and the whole reason he wanted to go search for fuel in this volume was to finally get back to his son in time for his birthday. Not to mention I’ve never seen him treat Hazel badly, he really didn’t mean to hurt Marko or Alana when he was high and was worried that he might’ve when he woke up (he might not particularly like them, but he wouldn’t hurt or orphan their kids), and he offered to go with Petrichor to look for Izabel in order to try and keep Petrichor safe. And, I mean, come on, this is the cover of issue #40:
Did he really let the little creature kids watch his TV head for fun? Because that’s freaking adorable.
Also, I find it impressive how the author and artist are able to portray so much emotion in IV despite the fact that he has no face and therefore no facial expressions. The body language and dialogue are so well done.
I also loved that one image of the characters in the kitchen that showed Marko washing dishes, Petrichor and Jabarah preparing food, and IV sitting at the table reading because I loved how, despite their vast differences and disagreements, they were all in one room together, working together, kind of getting along. I would’ve loved to see more that actually showed the dynamic among all of them though since there wasn’t a lot of that.
But back to why I think this volume disappointed me a bit, there also didn’t seem to be that much plot. It seemed like earlier volumes had more going on in them.
Lastly, the series has been getting more somber and less funny lately. This one also had a really unhappy ending, for multiple characters. *SPOILER* Izabel is dead for real. Kurti and the entire family of creatures died when their planet collided with the Timesuck. Lying Cat chose Sophie over The Will, which made Lying Cat feel bad and had to hurt The Will, and now The Will may be as good as dead anyway. Sweet Boy definitely seems dead. And Alana and Marko lost their unborn baby. *END SPOILER* Not that somberness is a bad thing, but I think I liked when it had more of a balance with humor since there have always been heavier things in this series.
Anyway, overall, this volume was definitely darker than the previous ones and not a ton happened in it, but it still pulled me in and made me want more, and I feel bad for IV because I still love him even if he doesn’t love himself <3
Fans of Vol. 1-6 in Brian K. Vaughan's Saga series. Graphic novel fans and newbies alike who are looking for something fun and different, who like flawed but lovable characters, and who don't mind images of sex, nudity, and violence.
More Books in the Series:
Graphic Novel Review: Saga Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
Graphic Novel Review: Saga Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
Graphic Novel Review: Saga Vol. 3 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
Graphic Novel Review: Saga Vol. 4 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
Graphic Novel Review: Saga Vol. 5 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
Graphic Novel Review: Saga Vol. 6 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
Graphic Novel Review: Saga Vol. 7 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
Graphic Novel Review: Saga Vol. 8 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
From the worldwide bestselling team of FIONA STAPLES and BRIAN K. VAUGHAN, “The War for Phang” is an epic, self-contained SAGA event! Finally reunited with her ever-expanding family, Hazel travels to a war-torn comet that Wreath and Landfall have been battling over for ages. New friendships are forged and others are lost forever in this action-packed volume about families, combat, and the refugee experience.
Book Author: Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples
Publisher: Image Comics
Genre: Fantasy, Graphic Novel, Science Fiction
My Book Rating: 3.5
Series/Standalone: Part of a Series
Setting Location: Space/Other Planets
Disability: Depression/Anxiety, Mental Illness, Suicide Thoughts/Attempts
Non-Human Type: Androids/Cyborgs, Other Supernatural
Romance Type: F-F, M-F
Extra Love: Favorite Male Character, Favorite Side Character