Writer: Brian K Vaughan / Artist: Fiona Staples / Image Comics
After the absolute gut punch that was the death of Izabel last issue, it seems that nobody is having a good day in this issue. While there are tons of characters and story lines moving at a good clip throughout this book, now more than ever the age of Hazel is probably upon us. She is still a kid, but the maturation and conditions that she’s been subjected to are beginning to take root in her as we see her pessimistic world view and debunking of the illusions we often tell our kids to seemingly protect them. Hazel knows that protection is a myth and that happily ever after isn’t a destination on any map she can point to. The rest of the crew is feeling the fallout of Izabel’s disappearance as well, as it seems to awaken them from their very domesticated slumber to actually do something (as opposed to the months they’ve been caught on the comic).
The other big story line involves The Will who has officially hit rock bottom. What an invested journey we have traveled with The Will. His character arc has probably been as fleshed out as our main protagonists at this point and it will be interesting to see what kind of resolve he has after his latest set back. He has been on this trail for quite a while, including a glorious line from his agent that both tells how long this story has been going and punctuates my earlier point about Hazel.
As usual, Staples is on point in this issue. I love the natural and wholly different character models that are Alana and The Will, one being pregnant, one being…well, much larger than how we met him. In addition to us having known these characters for a long duration, they are familiar in their tone and movements to us, even when they look pretty different from back in issue 1.
Saga continues to give us the family drama that we have learned to covet over the last few years. Hazel is growing into the promise that Vaughan and Staples made with those first words of the book. The book is still one of the best on the shelves each month and there is plenty of reward for rocking with this book this long.