As Hazel and her family try to establish normalcy in their lives, tabloid reporters Upsher and Doff may have finally gotten in too deep with their story…
Art: Fiona Staples
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Letters + Design: Fonografiks
Publisher: Image Comics
What You Need to Know:
Hidden away on a mysterious planet, Hazel and her family attempt to establish normalcy once again while helping tabloid reporters Upsher and Doff expose their story in exchange for entire body replacements for their friends. Robot IV, his squire, and Petrichor have all chosen to accept these replacements, hoping to find their own sense of normalcy in the world. But with Ianthe on their trail using The Will as her enslaved sidekick, the group is in more danger than they could possibly know…
What You’ll Find Out:
Squire lies in his bed, screaming at the nightmare playing out across his face as Robot IV enters the room demanding for him to wake up. When asked if it was the same nightmare, Squire responds by saying he would like to visit his mother. Taken aback, Robot IV explains that their new bodies will be of a species that won’t be welcome in the Robot Kingdom and asks if the nightmare was about the savage who killed his mom. Squire tells him it was a memory though, that The Will told him Robot IV was also a savage.
Robot IV angrily informs Squire of what he believes to be the difference between their killings, but Squire only asks to see the moment for himself. This only angers Robot IV even more, and within moments his hand is squeezing around Squire’s neck. Squire is able to mumble under his breath just enough to shake Robot IV out of his blind rage. He hugs Squire immediately, apologizing and promising a much better life ahead…
Out in the ocean, Hazel yells for help, but Ghus and Friendo aren’t buying her pleas. Ghus says she is fine because Doff is right there, but then he appears right above Ghus with a towel in hand. In a panic, he sits up to see that she is finally swimming on her own. As everyone congratulates her, a giant mustached kingfish jumps out of the ocean and soars in the air above them. Doff has been eager to capture a picture of the animal for a long time, and runs off after it, leaving a disappointed Hazel behind.
Inside an abandoned restaurant, Marko sits at a booth typing a story while wearing glasses when Alana walks in, not believing what she sees. She sees that Marko is writing what turns out to be a fiction novella, and although she criticizes it at first, Marko explains that he was inspired by Yuma and all those who have helped them so far. He tries to brush it off as rudimentary, but within only a few pages, Alana is engrossed in the story.
As Upsher waits impatiently by a phone, Petrichor approaches him expressing their disbelief in the editors ever responding to their requests. Their discussion quickly grows into a heated debate regarding Petrichor’s true intentions and Upsher’s ability to actually get their new identities. Petrichor tells Upsher of their time in the bloodiest battles of the last decade, and of the bias reporting they experienced from every world. Just as Upsher begins to explain his planet’s belief in a free press, the phone rings. Their story will be the front of next week’s issue and their transformation into their new identities will start tonight.
Meanwhile, Doff makes his way through a forested area to find the mustached kingfish just above him. Right before he can snap a picture though, Ianthe and The Will interrupt him. Ianthe has him at gunpoint already, and The Will tries to give him advice but is quickly silenced. Faced with demands to know where Hazel and her parents are hiding, Doff says he doesn’t know anything. Ianthe knows from The Will’s memory that he is lying though. Knowing he will die regardless of what he says, he charges Ianthe and tackles her, but is soon shot through the chest.
Ianthe stands up, surprised at the scuffle and already giving orders to The Will, but he is gone. She finds only his collar and cuffs on the ground, with their remote still clenched in Doff’s hand…
What Just Happened:
The latest issue of Saga pushes the story forward with emotional character interactions that foreshadow danger and offer rarely seen moments of happiness. However, the story quickly takes a deadly turn and ends with an ominous outlook for nearly every character involved. The creative team manages to take what seems to be a predictable ending and offer a twist that is both shocking and exciting. With The Will now free from Ianthe’s torture, the motives for his return could prove to be very intriguing.
Interestingly, the issue begins with an exploration of what it means to be a savage, and how it can be subjective to the individual. The conversation between Squire and Robot IV delves into the complexities of a person’s actions and their consequences. Then the story changes to much more uplifting narratives of achievement and creativity before following up on the foreshadowing established in their conversation. When a situation presents itself involving a true savage in Ianthe, the actions of Doff show the concepts discussed by Squire and Robot IV occurring in the world.
The artistic direction in the series has essentially always been impeccable, and this issue is no different. It is more than just appealing to the eye, it supports and even enhances the story being told by emphasizing tone through design and colors. Robot IV’s discontent, in the beginning, is immediately accentuated by a red glare that consumes the lighting but is offset by the change to blues with Hazel learning to swim. This interplay between the art and the story has been key to the series’ ability to absorb readers, and the latest issue continues that trend.
With interesting new prospects like Marko’s novella and Hazel’s maturity coming to light alongside the deadly threats facing the group, Saga #51 continues to expand the series’ horizons and show no signs of slowing down.
Final Thoughts: The latest issue of Saga continues to successfully explore the fleeting happiness of a family on the run, while ominous foreshadowing leads to deadly consequences in what proves to be yet another thrilling and beautiful addition to the series!
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