Saga returns this week after major changes took place last month that affected the dynamic of Hazel and Alana’s crew. As we’ve seen throughout this series, you may make new friends along the way, but the danger is always nipping at your heels. That’s never more obvious than in Saga #60, which throws the lives of these characters into a new kind of disarray.
Saga #60 opens with Agent Gale interrogating Klara, Alana’s mother-in-law currently residing in prison. Agent Gale is trying to put together the pieces to catch up to Hazel and likely kill her. Being she’s of a race that’s half Wreath and half Landfall they want her dead as it proves these warring nations may find peace. Writer Brian K. Vaughan does a great job playing cat-and-mouse in this interrogation scene with Gale slowly pulling out details and Klara pushing back. She shows her hand, though, when she finds out her son is dead.
This leads to a poignant transition as the narrative moves back to Hazel’s monologuing via caption. The point is made that children are to expect their parents to die, but not the other way around. Soon we see Hazel and Alana are back on their bullshit of selling formula which is a nice way to show the adventure they went on in the last few issues paid off.
Hazel is turning out to be more complex via caption and in the moment. Seeing as she was a baby early on and narrating her own story we can start to see the voice in the captions is catching up to who she is in the present. You get a sense of that when she comes clean to her brother about his crush, or how she does well selling the formula with confidence and showmanship.
This all comes burning down in the final minutes, effectively reminding us Hazel is still just a child. It’s a harrowing last few pages that will make you feel hopeless. If anything is true about Saga, it’s good at making you feel warm and then reminding you life is unfair and cruel.
Fiona Staples gets to draw a bunch of fun things this issue, like a wack-a-mole style game with eels. The final moments of the issue hit the hardest, capturing Hazel’s tears to perfection. You’ll feel for her and be right there with her as memories flash by.
This issue continues to feel less splashy with its moments of humor or action. The final full-page splash is surprisingly less impactful as the first shot we see of the very same burning structure and the opening splash is also so-so in its shock value. Character development continues to be on point, but one of the strongest elements of this series has been its ability to surprise with adult humor or action.
Saga #60 shows how much Hazel has grown up but delves into how it’s unfair to think a child who lost a parent is ever okay. Just as we began to think Hazel and Alana were doing okay, things come crashing down in this turning point issue.
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