Comic Book Review: Saga #52
They were not kidding when they said that what happens from this arc forward would be pretty dark. Saga has definitely become one of those stories where the most dangerous idea is that the universe will give you peace. Not when you are this band of rebels and outcasts. The previous issue drove that message home hard which is when you brace the most. Not just for where things will go wrong, but who we are going to lose when that time comes. It’s a looming feeling that Doff was only the start with everyone still struggling to figure out what to do next.
The Squire situation as well finds a way to shake things up, though this part I of course had trouble with finding favor in. I make it no secret that there is a love/hate relationship with plots involving kid. They quite easily become obstacles when going through that rebellious phase, and everything in that moment tends to be painfully predictable. The action, reaction, and what it distracts from what everyone else is doing. Regardless, this was probably the best way to also ease into what would otherwise be the next moment of conflict. I mean do they run into the corpse of Doff? The Will? Ianthe? Either of the three would immediately throw red flags and thrust us into that inevitable escalation of events. There was a few chance encounters, but nothing serious as this issue led us to believe. They said danger approaches, though it did feel as though the danger was already close enough. I would say that what happened here was more set-up than anything else.
With that said, its hard to fault the creative team for wanting to move the pieces into place before anything of significance actually happened. It’s also nothing new that they would want to make us wait with suspense to allow the fear of what comes next to sink in. Considering the way that this issue ends, you’re going to want to brace yourself when the danger is going to take more than one form. It is safe to say that no one is safe when trust is so short among those who are supposed to be allies.
To some extent you could still say part of this issue was the calm before the storm, but then again, when isn’t it? What kills us most is when no one is prepared to have to fend for their lives. Even with crap hitting the fan, the smaller moments were still to be appreciated. As intense and engaging as things get when there’s action to take, having that quiet reminds you of who everyone is at the core. Particularly who they still have room to be without the influence of the world around them.
The artwork was for the most part consistent this issue with a stronger focus on the character moments than anything else. It was at least with a stronger element of drama added to the events this issue that we could see the characters a bit more expressive. The anger, disappointment, and the calm everyone experienced really toyed with our emotions here when there was the expectation that crap would hit the fan here and now. One of the monsters encountered out there was very creative. It started off looking like something silly, then quickly revealed itself to be something more terrifying in terms of size and what it actually is. Fiona Staples like to get weird, and this was one heck of a way to indulge in that fun. Aside from this, it was probably the scenery which stood out most. If it’s not the characters or actions, then it is usually the exploration of the world around these character which amazes. It was the colors in particular which were lush and rich to match the natural environment.
Saga #52 at the end of the day was a build-up and a tease. Neither of which hurt the story, but it sure as hell plays with our emotions after a loss was already experienced, and there being two killers loose to surprise our band of misfits. I don’t like to sound like I’m rushing a plot, but right now this arc has some hype to live up to. Hopefully the next issue gets the ball running with some wheels set into motion.