Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ Saga returns with an exciting, fast-paced 55th issue starring brand new characters alongside some fan favorites.
The first 54 issues of Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ Saga told the story of a pair of star-crossed lovers and their child living on the run in the middle of an interplanetary war. The series is one of the most beloved and best-selling comics in recent memory, but in 2018, Vaughan and Staples announced that they were taking a break. Luckily, they’ve made their triumphant return with Saga #55, which is available now from Image Comics. The new issue is an incredible testament to the talents of its creators and the series’ strength overall.
Saga #55 begins with Hazel running through the streets of a new planet after stealing an album from a bat-wielding shop owner. While she’s getting into trouble, Alana and her new business partner Bombazine sell some baby formula to provide for their makeshift family. Squire stays on the spaceship, still traumatized by his father’s violent death. As the whole family struggles to cope with the painful events of Saga #54, The Will continues to rebuild his reputation as a bounty hunter, and a brutal interplanetary war continues.
Vaughan does an incredible job of providing an easy entry into the series after its long hiatus. There is no tedious recapping. Saga #55 is as fast-paced as ever, featuring run-ins with police, terrorist attacks, and even pirates. The first page is remarkably similar to the first page of Saga #1 as if to say, “This is the beginning of a new era for Saga.“ This issue takes place quite a while after the events of Saga #54, so it showcases how the family dynamic has changed. They’ve all learned to live without Marko and befriended the affable Bombazine. As unfamiliar as the situation is, Vaughan grounds the story in Hazel’s thoughtful narration, reintroducing readers to the series without interrupting its action. As this new chapter in Hazel’s life begins, Vaughan seems determined to explore new corners of Saga‘suniverse.
Fiona Staples’ spectacular art illustrates just how much has passed between Saga #54 and Saga #55. Ella’s Hazel and her family have all aged in subtle but remarkable ways. Alana and Hazel appear hardened by their grief. However, their playful personalities still shine through as they smile and dance their ways through Saga #55. Staples’ brilliant artwork communicates the complicated emotional lives of her characters in ways that echo the tone of Vaughan’s writing of her. Her character designs for new characters and unfamiliar aliens are equally impressive. Every character is deliberately designed to reflect their species and her unique reality. Even in crowd scenes, each figure looks like they have their own story to tell. Staples’ diverse designs underscore the endless possible directions Saga‘s story can move in and the unpredictable nature of Hazel’s life on the run.
Saga #55 is absolutely worth the wait. Vaughan and Staples have returned without missing a beat. Both creators continue to exceed fans’ already high expectations and take the series into thrilling, new places. This issue is emblematic of everything that makes Saga special. Saga#55 balances the humor of growing up with the horrors of war while exploring a beautifully crafted universe that’s sure to delight old and new readers alike.
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