Saga returned from its regular hiatus with a new chapter and a new story arc this week. At a point where I’ve been thinking about dropping the book (after a fairly weak run from #43-48), this issue actually turned things around quite a bit for me.
The book’s overall situation doesn’t change much here (bar the traditional final-page cliffhanger), but this issue does a pretty good job of restating all of the current major character relationships, as well as dropping some hints as to where the various story threads might be leading next. And in amongst that there are some interesting asides about war and society that are pretty standard for this series but continue to be done well.
So for now, I’m sticking with Saga to see where it goes next. I wonder if anything big is planned for the big anniversary issue next month.
Jessica Jones #17
This issue marks the culmination of the book’s story arc involving the Purple Man, which (as any fan of Jessica Jones and Alias knows) means it’s a pretty significant moment for the series and the character as a whole.
And Bendis and Gaydos pull it off. Really well.
It’s a talky issue, even more so than usual for Bendis, but the extended conversation between Jessica and Killgrave makes for compelling reading (and also allows for the return of the old ‘client interview’ layout that dates all the way back to Alias, with a fun twist here).
By fully addressing the morality of Killgrave’s offer to Jessica, and exploring the implications of the Purple Man’s power set (whether you intend to do good or evil), Bendis makes their encounter feel much more meaningful and final that it might have with a more conventional comicbook violent solution. Especially given the naturalistic conversational dialogue that really helps to ground the whole thing.
There’s a finality here that is very effective, and ties this series back to the end of Alias nicely, giving you that rare thing in Big Two superhero comics: real, genuine character development.
Gaydos also turns in some great art, often with unconventional or abstract layouts or visual approaches. And he really made me chuckle with this little Easter Egg addressing Bendis’ move to DC.
Did you spot it?