REVIEW: ‘Saga,’ Issue #55

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Saga #55 - But Why Tho

After an almost four-year hiatus, the epic science fantasy story has returned with Saga #55. Taking place three years after the events of issue #54, Saga #55 picks up with the story of Hazel. Saga #55 is written by Brian K. Vaughan, drawn by Fiona Staples, lettered by Fonografiks, and published by Image Comics.

Saga’s hiatus began with the shocking and tragic death of Marko, Hazel’s father; a gut-wrenching reminder that despite having left the Landfall/Wreath conflict, the war would always follow their family.  The trauma of that moment follows Hazel and Alanna upon Saga’s return. Things aren’t easy for Hazel and her family. Alanna and her business partner Bombazin, sell cans of baby formula in a desperate attempt to survive. Between Hazel and Squire, the abandoned child of Prince Robot IV, they have two mouths to feed. And Hazel, now ten years old, has more developed wings and horns, making it even harder to hide her identity from the evergrowing list of people who want to kill her. 

Vaughan wastes no time jumping right back into the story. Saga #55 begins with Hazel running from a shopkeeper, an experience that wouldn’t be quite so perilous if she wasn’t a physical representation of the forbidden union of a soldier from Wreath, and a soldier from Landfall. But as she’s running, Vaughan has Hazel catch readers up on what’s happened to her family since her father’s death. This narration feels perfectly natural, as Hazel has been narrating her story since the very beginning of the series.

The war ravaging the galaxy has been a major plot point throughout the series thus far, and Saga #55 is no different. Wherever Hazel’s family goes, the war is there, ripping apart some new planet with no affiliation to either army. Hazel and Squire have never known a world without the constant death, suffering, and trauma of war. While only briefly touched upon, there’s a discussion of the different ways Hazel and Squire cope with the trauma they’ve experienced. Given the situation, Hazel appears as a mostly well-adjusted kid, whereas Squire is nonverbal, though he can communicate in other ways.

Despite all of this, Hazel and Squire are lucky enough to still have some sort of ragtag family. Luck, Hazel notes, is something she has an incredible amount of. Luck is what keeps her alive. This observation is a reminder that Hazel isn’t special, beyond being the only (known) child with both Landfallian and Wreath characteristics. She’s not a  chosen one or a magical prodigy, she’s a kid born into an unjust world in an unfair reality. Just like Squire, just like so many other kids in the galaxy.

And that’s part of the beauty of Saga- that this “star-crossed lovers” romance between Alanna and Marko isn’t revolutionary beyond the fact that it goes against all cultural norms. They weren’t trying to make a statement or stop the war; they were just two people in love, trying to keep themselves and their daughter alive.

Staples art is a big part of what makes Saga so distinct and memorable, and this issue is no exception. Saga #55 expands the world of the series as Hazel and her family temporarily settle on another new planet. With this new location comes new species, settings, and conflicts. With Fonografiks’ contributions in lettering, this issue is as visually stunning as it is a masterpiece of writing.

Saga #55 is an emotional, action-packed return to the best-selling series; a perfect example of how to come back from hiatus with a bang.

Saga #55 is available now wherever comics are sold or online through Comixology using our affiliate link.


Saga #55
5

TL;DR

Saga #55 is an emotional, action-packed return to the best-selling series; a perfect example of how to come back from hiatus with a bang.