Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples' comic Saga blew the lid off comics when they started publishing it with the creator-friendly folks at Image, producing two graphic novels' worth of material in as many years; but then there was the long drought while we waited for book three (spoiler: worth the wait), and since then, they've hit a driving, relentless annual schedule, culminating in the publication, last week, of Volume 6, which is all that we've come to love from the series and then some.

One advantage to the more-regular schedule is that it's easier to hold all the intricate plots of Saga in one's head — but this is also getting easier as the authors begin to snip some of the plot threads from previous volumes (books 4-5 featured delightful excursions into the edges of the universe of Vaughan and Staples' people, who are soldiers on opposite sides of a hot war between people with horns and people with wings, one group of whom is high-tech, the others into a kind of advanced physics that's indistinguishable from magic).

Having been enriched by those jaunts through space and time, the story is now fuelled with pure plot, and volume six drives ahead with a story about refugee camps, revenge, and compassion that has some nailbiting escapes and close-calls, as well as the usual complement of terrible deaths and hot sex, as you'd expect from a Saga collection.

Saga is well-named, as the story's many races and fronts and timelines and characters seem to hold nearly-infinite scope for new tales. This volume is told largely by the on-again/off-again love child of the comics' protagonists, the wing/horn mix whose identity threatens the identities of almost everyone else. The juxtaposition of her adult voice and the narration of the events of her childhood is powerful and often jarring, but as always, the show is stolen by Staples' incredible art and character design, which mixes eroticism and horror with surrealism.

Saga Volume Six shows that Staples and Vaughan have a plot in mind, that their excursions were tightly controlled jaunts, and not lost meanderings. This is a comic with wings. And horns.

Did I mention that it's a fierce love story, too?

Saga Volume 6 [Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples/Image]

Previous reviews:

* Books 1-2

* Book 3

* Book 4

* Book 5