Saga #37 Review
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artists: Fiona Staples
Colorists: Fiona Staples
Inker: Fiona Staples
Coordinated by: Eric Stephenson
Publisher: images Comics
When I get my comics the week a new issue of Saga comes out, I have to put it at the bottom of my comic stack because all other comics pale in comparison. Between Vaughan, Staples, and Fonografiks the book is a masterpiece of storytelling. The book is about so many different things, and multi-layered that, while focusing on a family, it addresses almost every aspect of the contemporary human condition.
Saga #37 is the beginning of a new story arc. Honestly, I am the wrong person to say if this is a great jumping on point. I have read the hardcover collecting the first 18 issues too many times. I imagine that you could jump on here, but you would miss a lot of the subtle layering that Staples and Vaughan are inputting into the story. Also, you wouldn’t have any context for the characters and a lot of the conversations that are had between the characters.
Saga #37 shows the family of Alana, Marko and Hazel with just a moment to breath. They are in-space traveling for most of the issue. Also, it checks in with several of the supporting characters of the series. We get a check in with Sophie and Gwendolyn. We are shown Sophie’s newest aspirations of becoming a “freelancer”. The reader is given a three page synopsis of the most dangerous place in the universe, a comet by the name of Phang. This comet happens to be the next destination for our characters and it looks to be heartbreaking.
*SPOILERS AFTER THIS POINT*
In the midst of a galaxy out to destroy your family because of what you represent, how do you continue to love? What is the inverse of war? These are some of the high concept ideas that Saga meditates on without slowing the story down. Saga posits that if you can find love in hate, you can find a sort of consolation. Saga suggests that the opposite of war is f*cking. Just some random OMG moments from the issue: Alana is pregnant!!!!! Prince Robot the fourth is in Love with Alana????!!!! Sophie wants to find and capture Marko??!!! And we finally find out what the shirt the babysitter wears means.
Let’s talk about the comet Phang for a moment. A Comet in perpetual war because of resources. Does anyone else see a direct metaphor for the Middle-East? Between the faux political leaders propped up by foreign powers and the inherent tribalism of the local population, I couldn’t help but see almost a direct metaphor for the ‘Forever’ war the US is embroiled in with the Middle East. The war between the Landfall and Wreath representing either the Cold War heated up or the War on Terror, take your pick. Also, when the tree spaceship lands on the comet and they see the refugees in the rubble of destroyed city my heart just broke and all they ask for is food.
Whereas the actual situation for Alana and Marko is better because they are reunited with their daughter Hazel, Prince Robot the fourth is suffering. A member of the Royal family, disgraced officer, Prince Robot suffers from severe bouts of PTSD. The way it manifests itself in this issues is ED. He can’t get his ‘device’ working thinking about his wife and finds himself settling on a picture of Alana and ponders what is wrong with him. As much as I talk about the high-concept of Saga, there is a dark comedy at play sometimes in Saga.
This is purely conjecture, but the last arc no one died. I don’t think we are going to be that lucky at the end of this arc. I have a sneaking suspicion someone is going to die and it is going to drive a wedge between the narrative groups we follow.
MUST BUY!!! For me, there is no better 2.99 spent than on an issue of Saga. Brian K. Vaughn is the master of the page turn. The end of every odd page makes you turn the page. Staples has mastered these character designs and her storytelling is amazing.