I've made much ado about how I'm essentially in like with Saga but not in love with it. I think we're on the right track, though, because as soon as I got to the last page of Saga #8, I blurted loudly to nobody "Well, all right."
We open with Alana finishing the romance novel that changed her life – allowed her to see her enemies as beings instead of just "moonies" – and has caused the people hunting her and her child down to view her as something of a heretic. We see her first meeting with her future husband Marko is as captor and prisoner, with a "meet-cute" of a rifle-butt to the jaw.
Cut to the present day, where Alana's father-in-law Barr is being all cryptic and mysterious about some "project" he has to finish before his heart gives out, which freaks Alana out at first, but slowly they start to bond. Meanwhile, Marko and his hardass mother are fighting Giant Crusty Ballsac Creature – whose name is apparently FARD! – while seeking out Marko's friendly teenage ghost babysitter Izabel on some funky planet that turns out to be a giant egg. But not before Marko throws a lightning bolt at his mom to get her to stop insulting his wife. And at the end, we finally get our first look at Marko's ex-girlfriend Gwendolyn, who looks fittingly hardassed – especially since she's apparently the one who's hired the freelance killers to hunt Marko and his child down.
Through the use of an agent who is also a seahorse-guy. A seahorse-guy.
That's what I really do like about this series – the limitless scope of imagination at play. Crusty Sac Monster, Seahorse Guy, Prince TV-Head Robot, those skeevy hooker heads from a few issues back, the merc in love with the actual spider-lady – this is exactly what crazy cosmic space adventures should be. I believe I've officially become accustomed to Fiona Staples art style, and I love how she just goes for broke with these illustrations and shies away from nothing. I mentioned the giant crusty ballsac, right? Maybe I just like saying "ballsac."
Brian K. Vaughan has certainly given Saga legs, balancing the tense threatening bad guy jerk-attack issues with familial drama such as what's going on in Saga #8, working with a limitless galaxy of possibilities with this story. Literally anything can happen, and that's a lot of the charm. I do like having no idea what to expect on each page. I was not expecting a seahorse-guy, that's for sure. But he evens out the crazy with easily identifiable character work, examining longstanding ancestral hatreds and just how hard it can be to open a mind up to a better way.