And now, for something completely different. One of the things that makes Saga such a great read: the world-building Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples have done. The war between Landfall and Wreath has been going on for decades. Both sides have damaged veterans, doing their best to cope with the fallout. The lesson: just because minor characters leave the page, doesn't mean they stop existing. (Spoilers ensue.)

The Landfallian sergeant who lost his hand in chapter five is in a veteran's hospital. He's been trying to get his story out, the story of star-crossed lovers who had an abomination (named Hazel) and cut his squad to ribbons. The only folks willing to listen are a pair of amphibious tabloid journalists.

Elsewhere, it's been weeks since Barr died. Marko's grown his beard of sorrow. Klara's in mourning, and livid about the "donkey shit" that is Heist's book. Alana and Marko still plan to visit Heist, and Klara has nothing better to do. So, they're going as a family.

Speaking of families, The Will, Gwendolyn, and Slave Girl are nigh-stranded on a rock that might as well be paradise, but for the fact that the Will's ship is wrecked. He's having difficulty getting AAA to reach them, and is losing his patience with the gals.

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On Quietus, the rocket tree lands and puts down roots. (Rim shot! That Vaughan's a real cut-up!) To make things more interesting, the ground outside is covered in bones. Bones with a bit of life left in 'em.

Shit. I was not expecting to see wild, ravenous bone homunculi. (Neither were they.) Izabel IDs them as Bone Bugs, some kind of microscopic bastards that reanimate marrow. Alana holds her own, but the day is saved by a drunken, half-naked cyclops with a penchant for trashy romance novels. He also makes my favorite entrance of all time. (I don't just mean this series, either.)

Back on planet pitstop, The Will sups on roast giant beetle, pining for his lost love.

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Enter his lost love, with a nonchalant "Howdy." The Will understandably freaks, while his dead lover warns him to quit his job— forever— stay put, and live in paradise. Settle down with Gwen, name the kid, things like that.

Gwendolyn— the real one— walks up, telling The Will that he's woken Slave Girl with all his shouting. "That's not her name," says The Will. "Now on, we're calling her Sophie."

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While light on action, chapter #13 stands out as one of my favorites. We meet Oswald Heist, and I know from reading ahead that he'll have a deep impression on our heroes. Also, the mysteries of planet pitstop need solving. (Please keep spoilers out of the comments.)

Anyway. A bloody good chapter, and one I've savored.

See you here again soon.

~

Casey Jones is a writer himself, and has a comfy bathrobe, too. Also, Sophie is one of his favorite names.