Anyone can kill you, but it takes someone you know to REALLY hurt you… Your Major Spoilers review of Saga #49 awaits!
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Fiona Staples
Colorist: Fiona Staples
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Saga: “The multiple Eisner Award-winning series returns with a spacefaring adventure about fake news and genuine terror. Get ready for the most shocking, most impactful chapters of SAGA yet…”
ALL ABOUT LOVE
This issue opens with a full-page shot of a naked The Will, being held in chains by Ianthe and forced to help her track down Marko, Alana and company. Her intentions aren’t entirely clear, but they’re in no way position, that much is clear. The rest of this issue examines matters of love; Alana and family are bonding, closer than they’ve ever been. As for Robot, he and Petrichor are responsible for some particularly loud sex noises, including an intense discussion when his face/screen accidentally reveals that he’s in love with her. As for Doff and Upsher, tabloid writers extraordinaire, they have an offer for Alana, Marko and Hazel: Let them tell their story and go into the Source Protection Program, where they’d not only be protected, they’d be mystically given ENTIRELY NEW bodies and allowed to live as telepathic amphibians. They quickly turn the offer down, believing that Hazel’s status as hybrid is a gift, but Robot overhears the offer and realizes what it could mean for his relationship with Petri…
THAT LAST PAGE
The last page is a really effective, ominous moment, but it’s not the most shocking one in the issue. That one comes when a conflict between Hazel and Robot’s son, Squire, and… it’s incredibly painful. It’s hard to believe that Saga is nearly seven years old, but even with nearly fifty issues under their belt, this creative team keeps on innovating and surprising me as a reader. Fiona Staples’ art is expressive and exciting, making even a discussion over the kitchen table feel taut and awkward, while Vaughan’s script puts some truly terrible things into the world in this issue. The final panel combines a Chekhov’s Gun set up in the earlier sex scene with an almost inescapable tragedy, and given the cover’s indications that we’re going to be dealing with the damage that can be done by the media, I don’t expect everyone on board the tree-ship to make it through this arc unharmed. That’s actually pretty great, when you think about it…
BOTTOM LINE: OMINOUS AND EFFECTIVE
There are at least three good, solid gut-punches in this issue, each of a different caliber, but the final effect makes for an issue full of reveals and one that makes for the fabled ‘Good Jumping On Point,’ or at least the best one you’re going to find in a story this nuanced and complex. Saga #49 ruminates on the nature of love, sets us up for terrible things to come and does so with clever dialogue, dynamite art and some good old-fashioned hurting the ones you love, earning 4.5 out of 5 stars overall. Nobody knows how to break our hearts like this creative team, folks, and I’m afraid that’s what we all have to look forward to…
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