Story by Brian K. Vaughan
Art by Fiona Staples
Review by Mara Whiteside
From the cover to the final page in the Letters column, Saga #9 keeps its readers invested in the lives of each character that spans this vast universe. Issue 9 follows The Will as he wrestles with the gnawing thought of Slave Girl on Sextillion.
Sextillion is a planet that solely focuses on the sexual desires of its visitors. Every fetish and preference is catered to, including pedophilia. When The Will meets a young child trapped in forced prostitution, he loses all motivation to continue his original mission. His encounter with Gwendolyn, Marko’s ex, on a beach changes everything.
The pairing of Gwen and The Will as they find Slave Girl and Marko is genius. Readers are familiar with the history behind The Will and The Stalk and can see that her absence is sorely missed in his life. The Stalk has even invaded The Will’s dreams, reminding him constantly of the creature he loved and her cold-blooded death. Gwen comes into the story, mad as hell that Marko ran off with a Landfallian. She lights a fire under The Will, connecting the dots between Prince Robot IV and Marko. If they find Marko, they will surely find Prince IV, the man who killed The Stalk.
Gwen is a character readers can quickly fall in love with. Vaughan writes her very similarly to Alana: both women are strong-willed and quick on their feet. Gwen shows no fear in the presence of a hardened bounty hunter and holds her own in a fight. There is this unspoken difference between Alana and Gwen, something that drove Marko to Alana and away from Gwen. Vaughan is no stranger to creating likeable female characters (check out his Y: The Last Man series for evidence of his character diversity), and Gwen is a welcomed addition to the Saga family.
Though Marko and Alana are nowhere in this issue of Saga, you still feel their presence throughout the events. Gwen is dead set on finding Marko, and The Will needs to finish his job and kill the child. With the addition of Slave Girl to the team, Marko and Alana may be in trouble very soon.
Every issue of Saga is a buy. All nine issues are available on Comixology, and the first trade is already out. Don’t forget: the wonderful Letters pages are only available in single issues.