I'm realizing that after reading every issue of Saga, one of two (or both) things happen: I squeal "OMG SO GOOD!" or exclaim "Oh noes!" This issue got both reactions from me.
The book opens with a flashback between Alana and Marko that shows the burgeoning love between jailer and inmate. She is reading her romance novel to him in the courtyard and ends up hilariously distracted by his shirtlessness. I don't blame her. Fiona Staples draws Marko in a very appealing way; not overly muscled, but a fit soldier who has been detained a while. They chat about the book, which they both really enjoy and have realized is actually about the war between their two races and how it's reached a crucial point; things have to stop or the violence will escalate until there's nothing left for either side. It's a touching moment that quickly establishes how these two were drawn to each other and the unlikely bond that formed during their Secret Book Club.
Until Marko drops the bomb that it'll be their last as he's being transferred to another prison. Alana instantly knows that this is the type of facility that prisoners do not return from and, in a moment of unadulterated badassery, she shoots the chain that's binding him. He's dumbstruck by her actions, frozen in place, and his only concern is about what will happen to her if he's caught, not his own safety. He asks why she would do this for him and her response is the perfect admission that says nothing and everything all at once. Queue another incredibly touching moment that may or may not have made this reviewers eyes well up briefly. You can't prove a thing.
This is a book that involves violent action sequences, space travel and horrifying monsters. Yet it isn't really about any of those things; they just happen to play minor parts in a greater story. Brian K. Vaughan writes more emotional intensity into short moments in each issue than some authors manage in an entire run on a series. There are books out there that are obviously approached as paycheques, with writers and artists phoning it in for one reason or another. Saga is a series that's so filled with love from its creators that it nearly bursts at the seams, without ever becoming sappy or overdone. Plus the monster role call is always terrifying.
By the next page we've moved back to the present, with Marko in search of his lost babysitter with his mom. They find her pretty quickly after encountering a few new creepy crawlies and we're off on a frantic escape from the planet that's about to hatch into God knows what.
I won't give anything else away but there are some spectacular panels and it ends on a particularly tense note that does not bode well for The Will. Don't miss out on one of the best things in comics today.