Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Art: Fiona Staples
Letters & Design: Fonografiks
Saga #57 provides what #56 withheld: our first glimpse of Alana in mourning. Vaughan and Staples wisely (or cruelly?) prep readers by opening on a full page of Ghust playing around with a pack of wolf pups in diapers. Aww.
But then it’s on to Alana confiding her deepest wounds to an unlikely friend, Endwife. The bottom panel on page 2 may as well be pulled from a reaction video of Saga fans finishing #54 all those years ago. Fiona Staple’s colors, character designs, and world building remain as vibrant and outlandish as ever, but don’t forget how well she pulls off genuine human emotion. Alana looks irrevocably gutted.
Endwife proves to be not just an unlikely confidante, but a talented one. Endwife assures Alana that she’s not a “broke-ass widow,” but rather “a woman who soars, even when grounded.”
Resuming the present misadventure, Alana departs the latest iteration of her found family for a pirating job. Again, Vaughan and Staples collaborate to effortlessly deliver moments of joy and pathos. We see Hazel continuing to fall in love with music to the point that her mother’s attempt at a heart-to-heart may as well be coming from Charlie Brown’s teacher. It’s a painfully relatable moment for anyone who got a guitar in the fifth grade. Her brother Squire, meanwhile, throws his arm around his mother’s waist in a panel so warm and cozy I have to assume Alana or Squire will violently explode next issue.
Words on Marko are not the only insight readers have into the multi-year gap that followed the bloodbath on Jetsam. We start getting insight into Bombazine and his (strictly professional) relationship with Alana. The issue suggests Bombazine has a darker, more complex past than his bizarre, koala-eared appearance might suggest.
The issue’s final sequence depicts a meeting between The Will and Countess. It’s a gorgeously illustrated look at the Robot home world, but one that’s scant on details. That said, it seems The Will and Gwendolyn will be key players in advancing what seemed like an endless war to its climactic stages.
As is the case with many Saga arcs, we're learning the new status quo and gradually moving main characters into deadly situations. More importantly, Ghus!!