The volume kicks off in the signature shock and sexual Saga style with an up-close look at the birth of Prince Robot IV's son. The very first image is an entire splash page of the baby robot's head emerging from its mother's reproductive organs to remind you just what it means to sit and read an issue of Saga. Following the birth, we get to see a little of the robot's home planet and caste system while learning that Prince Robot IV is still missing after his collision with the protagonists in issue 18.
We then move to the planet Gardenia where Marko, in disguise as a battered soldier, watches Hazel play in a park. During their afternoon out, Marko meets a blue woman whose name we never learn. She flirts with him and then invites Hazel to come to her dance studio. While Marko lets Hazel play, we jump to the Open Circuit, a sci-fi combination of vaudeville and soap opera, where Alana has gotten a job as an actress. Following an altercation with a heckler, Alana nearly loses her job but convinces the director, Trix, who is clearly an homage to Splinter from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, to let her stay so she can provide for her daughter.
At this point we've seen every lead character minus The Will and Gwendolyn, but we haven't really established any driving action for this arc of the series. The dialogue is fun, and it's clear that pieces are being laid for future use, but this issue establishes more than it adds and ultimately feels like filler until the very end.
Alana returns to the Tree Ship after work to bring everyone together. Not much happens until Hazel's narration reminds you how Brian K. Vaughan keeps you coming back to the series. Hazel narrates the final page, depicting her parents sandwiching her between their bodies in a hug, with the words "This is the story of how my parents split up." It's a huge twist that is a clear departure from the Romeo and Juliet influence of lovers from opposite sides of a dispute, and it foreshadows serious changes to come.
It seems as though 60 percent of the comics on the shelves these days spend their page time reestablishing the status quo for a future adventure. Although Saga has certainly earned the time, it was a bit of a disappointment to come off the hiatus with groundwork instead of a bang. However, the conclusion certainly promises eventful things to come.
What did you think of Saga 19? Was it worth the wait? Let us know in the comments section below!