Marko and Alana have a lot of people after them, but none of these characters is more fascinating (in this reader’s opinion) than the bounty hunter known as The Will. The Will and his trusty sidekick, Lying Cat’s, story has been tightly connected to Marko and Alana’s—Lying. (Don’t pay her any mind.) What I meant was, largely separate from the main story so far, but it’s time to finally put The Will into the game.
Saga #9 is a great payoff issue for fans of the series as it takes several dangling threads and starts to tie them together into a complicated and wonderful design. I think it’s awesome that even the “secondary characters” in Saga can carry a whole issue and carry it strongly. This issue strikes a great balance between humor and action and has some of the best, and most subtle, character development I’ve ever seen in a comic.
When last we left The Will, he was gung-ho and ready to avenge the death of The Stalk by going after Prince Robot IV—Lying—okay, so maybe he wasn’t ready to be that bada–, yet. The Will was last seen mourning the loss of The Stalk on a beach while contemplating the dozens of ways he could murder Prince Robot IV for killing her. This issue picks up with The Will dreaming of the ways he could have it all: The Stalk back, rescue Slave Girl (only name provided) from Sextillion, everything.
But, The Will’s life is about to become far more interesting as Gwendolyn, the former fiancee to Marko, meets up with him with a desire to hire him to track down her former beau. Gwendolyn’s not quite what I imagined. She’s devious and manipulative, which complements The Will’s more straightforward and violent approaches to problems nicely. These two characters have an interesting dynamic. Both of them are no nonsense individuals with the willingness to do evil but usually for good intentions. By far, my favorite scene this issue is such a subtle moment when The Will gives Gwendolyn a little extra push towards darkness. I can’t wait to see the influences these two will have on one another over time, both good and bad.
And, as always, the art of Fiona Staples is incredible. This issue doesn’t have any one big, brilliant panel like many of the previous issues do, but Issue #9 has a lot of great, little moments, including the second cutest panel of Saga to date—Lying—(Oh, hush, you’re biased.) and one of the most subtly frightening panels. The action in this issue is solid, and it’s nice to see The Will kick some a–. Whatever tools you think a bounty hunter should have in his arsenal, well, The Will doesn’t subscribe to those ideas.
The Will, Gwendolyn, and the rest of their team going after Marko and Alana actually have me just as excited about the “bad guys” as I am about the “good guys.” Not that I would ever root for The Will and Gwendolyn over Marko and Alana—Lying.