Saga #50 (Image) by Fiona Staples (artist), Brian K. Vaughan (writer)
(contains minor spoilers)
Six years ago, and still going strong…
Saga has reached its 50th issue, winning awards and still gaining new fandom. Such is impressive, as we live in a time where mainstream comics sales pull from brand or pop-culture recognition, living off the fame off of wide-released movies and TV adaptations. This usually means, a softening of the brand to appeal to the wider audience. But not Saga, keeping intimate with its fans from page one of every issue.
#50 stays in tradition, holding nothing back and keeping it real for the very mature audiences.
(recall page 1-3)
Moving forward, the pages are a bit quiet with no game-changes to the overall world-building to the Sagaverse. But we do have great connecting moments, of what Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples do best together. Relationships are development driven by the real desires of relatable characters, whether for the good or bad; they make interesting differences in this strange, fantastic universe.
Alana and Marko still drive the main story along for the readers, as the caring parents to Hazel. But now together and happy, I can only hope will last. But, I get a little nervous about that stability, with the narration of Hazel (because it’s really her story). Prince Robot is somewhat normal and sane again. We get to know Upsher and Doff a bit more, though I feel there is a tragedy in store for them as well. Petrichor is moving on with Prince Robot, along with Squire (who has moving plans of his own). The Will (for now, the Help) is dealing with his own struggle, being in a very screwed up situation.
But the biggest thrill is seeing Hazel, being the most developed so far. She can fight, blast, and think for herself. She is a legitimate badass, dangerous to anyone who messes with her and those cared for. This moment says it all, with a bit more.
The art remains consistent stylish, as Fiona Staples displaying each expression of sentient feeling, every setting beautiful yet alien, every sequential transition with a natural flow, and fantastic colors. The 50th issue continues on an epic story that is important in visual storytelling to match the words we find within.
That all being said, this wonderful 50th issue reminds me of why I love comics and will look forward to the next 50 more. The story is long, but compelling because time is taken to get to know our characters. Can’t wait (but also a little afraid), of where that will take us.