Saga is, at its most basic element, an allegory for the terrifying reality of raising a child in a world that can be violent and threatening. And, like raising a child, it is about growth and change, a theme that is embodied in Issue #18, the final act in Saga’s first chapter before a scheduled hiatus:
By G.D. KENNEDY
In this issue, writer Brian K. Vaughn manifests these changes through destruction in order to lay a foundation from which to rebuild. For the past few issues, new parents Marko and Alana have enjoyed a respite from being chased through the galaxy by bounty hunters and robots as they have stayed in the lighthouse home of author D. Oswald Heist. They exulted in the banality of everyday life: playing board games, watching television, and reading stories to their daughter.
But this issue marks a transition, as the outside forces chasing Marko and Alana have finally caught up to them. It opens with the lighthouse engulfed in flames, their safe haven literally being burnt to the ground, and it is clear from that point that they must move on.
But beyond just these physical changes, the issue explores the malleable nature of interpersonal relationships, the similarity and interrelatedness of love and hate, and the hefty emotional investment that each requires. This is crafted through Vaughan’s deft pacing and impeccably pointed dialogue, as well as artist Fiona Staples’ stunning visuals, which rely heavily on tight character portraits that put on full display her unique ability to capture even the most subtle of emotions. All of which leaves the series moving into a new stage of development, although what that means is not entirely clear by the issue’s end.
Other Image titles I’m reading this week:
East of West #9: Jonathan Hickman is nothing if not ubiquitous, and East of West, his futuristic Western set against the end-of-times, may be his best work, which is no small feat. The ninth issue serves largely to expand on the massive world that Hickman has created in only a few short issues, introducing us to a new nation while filling in the backstory of one of the Chosen.
Revival #17: Revival has been a maddeningly inconsistent book, offering a novel concept and glimmers of promise that often get lost in the weeds of onerous subplots and rudimentary characters. Issue #17 looks to have righted the ship, at least for now, as it offers a tightly scripted book that drives along the main plotline – the murder of Em – while avoiding unnecessary detours.
The Saviors #2: The Saviors, a black-and-white book with a distinctly cartoony feel, follows a stoner’s revelation that his small desert town is overrun by lizard-men in disguise. The Saviors is at best a fun book, but it does little to distinguish itself as anything more than forgettable.
Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment below!