It feels like a lifetime since the shocking end of Saga’s first half. But Brian K Vaughan and and Fiona Staples pick up right where they left off in a compelling restart to the series.
Three years in comic book continuity can be a lifetime. Characters are created, killed and are resurrected. Love is sought, then won, the lost. Whole universes face multiple extinction-level threats.
In the case of the double-sized Saga #55, which picks up three years after the title’s overstretched intermission, our characters find themselves in pretty familiar situations. The intergalactic war rages on. The protagonists are on the run. Sex is as rampant as it is graphic. And, of course, Lying Cat is still around to set the record straight.
The story picks up with Hazel and her now 10-year-old daughter Alana finding their way without the horned Marko, whose shocking death traumatized readers before the story’s long hiatus. The pair, joined by robotic Squire and newcomer Bombazine are scraping by and on the run. Despite her tender age, Alana has matured into a street-smart girl and great character in a tale filled with memorable personalities.
The three-year gap hasn’t dulled the talents of writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Fiona Staples. Both seem to be at the top of their games as they create this otherworldly story that often hits too close to home. No topic is taboo for Vaughan, who touches on everything from racism to terrorism to the patriarchal insistence on women nursing their newborns.
Whether it’s dragging us through city slums, or to strange moons, or into the depths of space, Staples carries readers to new worlds with her art. She has created a story where she doesn’t fall back on costumes to showcase a character’s distinctiveness. The drawings are so expressive you can actually envision each character’s individual facial expressions and gait, even though you’re looking at static images. That is a challenge for nearly any artist, but Staples seems to pull it off flawlessly.
The story opens with Alana telling the reader: “This is how an idea survives.” With the talents of these creators, it’s clear that Saga will survive as long as their willing to tell the tale.
Saga #55 is now on sale in print and digitally from Image Comics.