Saga #9: Where There’s The Will, There’s A Way

Marko's ex teams up with the deadliest freelancer there is, to help save a child and hunt down another one.

Andy Hunsakerby Andy Hunsaker

Part of the reason that I've had some trouble getting into Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples' Saga as much as everybody else in the industry apparently has is due to not having found a character in this ensemble that I really love. However, The Will might just be the closest thing to that. He is apparently the deadliest freelancer money can buy, meaning he hunts and kills people, but he's also apparently a huge sap. He's pining for his ex-partner The Stalk, the freaky spider-chick who was murdered by Prince Robot IV, The TV Headed Guy, in a fit of hair-triggered panic, and he has this crazy fantasy of teaming up with her again somehow to rescue a Slave Girl he encountered on the creepy perv planet Sextillion back in Saga #4. He first showed his heart of tarnished gold there by immediately killing the sleazy proprietor that offered this, and now, in Saga #9, he gets to finish what he started.

The issue starts with the idea that The Stalk might yet be alive and everything's hunky-dory, but it's quickly washed away as a silly idealistic fantasy. The reality is that Gwendolyn, the ex of 'horn' Marko who is currently hunting him down to capture his child with the hated 'wing' lady Alana, is there to recruit The Will to finish that job he was hired to do. The counter offer is that Gwen has to help Will with rescuing Slave Girl – and that she does, through guile and manipulation. Then, when it comes time for the showdown, the 'rescue' becomes the perv-jerks trying to blackmail them, and the result is once again seeing why The Will has a repuation for deadliness. The rescue is thankfully a success (because having a child used as a sex slave is not a plotline that should be drawn out), and it turns out that Slave Girl can hear magic, and she'll lead them to Marko and Alana.

What's great about all this are the conflicting moralities – after spending most of this issue making him out to be a hero, the poor, innocent child is now going to help her rescuer hunt down the hated miscegenists at the behest of Gwendolyn, who at least on the surface appears to be virulently disgusted by the union of a man of Wreath with a woman of Landfall, although it's likely much more complicated, given her history. So good guys – or, at least, people we like – are out to ruin the lives of other people we like. There's no straight villainy here – save for the Sextillion creeps, but they've been handled (at least for now). The complexity of this story keeps us guessing, as we never know what we're going to see out of Saga. Fiona Staples will draw anything Vaughan concocts, and she'll go all out doing it.

Sometimes, it's a giant crusty ballsac.