Comic Reading Review: Saga #31

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Saga #31

  • Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
  • Artist: Fiona Staples
  • Published by: Image Comics
  • Publish Date: November 25, 2015
  • Notes: The latest issue in a monthly series, back from a four-month hiatus


“NEW STORY ARC. After a dramatic time jump, the three-time Eisner Award winner for Best Continuing Series finally returns, as Hazel begins the most exciting adventure of her life…kindergarten!”

Personal Thoughts (with spoilers):

The time passed, in ways..

The first being the obvious usual wait from the mid-summer to mid-fall for creative duo Vaughan/Staples on chronicling the Sagaverse. The other being the passage of time for Hazel, now slightly older. The story of Saga is the life of Hazel, as continued readers will see her character grow and develop. This is a great typical issue, which I feel is a prime example to show anyone on what I feel the Saga is all about.

Saga is the book that keeps on giving, for creativity and character development. Yet, the book seems further refreshed after reading the last arc. Nearly every familiar character since the series began does not yet appear in present time. We meet some new characters in this war occupational setting, and the welcomed return of Izabel. The series gives Hazel the center stage as she is able enough to think and move for herself, and that seems about time.

However, we have a flashback to the endings of the last arc, and how we got to this point. Some explanations are due, on what brought Hazel to this point, and last-minute connections made; which leaves her grandmother as her guardian.

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While that part of the story is a flashback, it’s a good one relevant to how I think her character will develop. We see again the violence exposed to for Hazel, with two crushed heads in one issue. It’s brutal for any child to absorb, but she seems a little desensitized to it by then. Upon seeing others of her kind later before entering the showers, she seems still unaffected by the obvious violence to her kind that still persists. There are some other troubling themes I see she has gotten accustomed to, being extraterrestrial racism which is more distinct here, being that we see a lot more than the “Wings” and the “Moonies”. Here, I suppose it’s more about history and entitlement from the Landfallian perspective.

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Yet, something about the following seen is a bit relevant to recent headlines, and reactions. I see a theme of displacement, as not every developing child gets the chance to live a normal life. Here is some troubling difficulty from page one, as other children drew pictures of their personal tragedies. I think to what many of the real world refugees of the Syrian conflict will have to endure in their new lives. Not everyone in the new lands may welcome them, as the present locals may not consider their hardship struggles.  For Alana, she is now included as one of them, as accepted for being a “Moonie” under the watchful eyes of Landfall governance.

Meanwhile, she must keep her secret as an alien mixed breed. Yet, she discovers a sort of kinship with another person with a secret of her/his own, an unexpected man-part..

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It’s a bit funny with a great deal of irony of where that goes. The child is confused at first, as any would be I think. But, she accepts reality with a shifting to a tone of conversation on the discovery. Life goes in, with just one more thing Hazel happens to know and feel a bit more open to discuss her secret later on. So, she reveals herself to her secret of developed wings to her school teacher a bit later. This results on some cruel tragic irony as the teacher has a much harder time processing this body secret, leading to her sudden death from fainting. Oh fart, indeed.

That’s how I love my Saga, with all the thought-provoking humor and drama within, about growing up in a world full of stellar war conflicts and occupation. I look forward to the next issue..

– Orion T

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