Saga Is Barreling Towards An Epic Confrontation

The latest issue of Saga implies Bombazine was once a violent man and Alana’s warning about Skip potentially foreshadows the two coming to blows.

WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Saga #57, on sale now from Image Comics.

For the last decade, Saga, created by writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Fiona Staples, has always made good on climactic emotional and physical conflict. Hazel’s narration of her has implied that she has lived a long life and during that time she has experienced all manners of betrayal, heartache and loss. She foreshadows these pivotal moments by highlighting more innocuous ones that precede it, building the tension so that when these characters from all across this fantastically improbable universe finally cross paths, the outcome lives up to the anticipation.

This architecture, designed by Vaughan and executed with warmth and brutality in the portraitures of Staples, renders characters that are so fully formed and inhabit such a specific space in the world they have designed that the impact of these collisions can reverberate within the souls and minds of readers for years. Whether it is the death of a phantom babysitter, the culmination of dogged reporters securing the story of a lifetime or the eventual showdown between an obsessive freelancer and a family on the run, the series never disappoints in delivering proportionate gravitas. After the reveals in Saga #57, the series seems poised to fulfill yet another unspoken promise with its next clash of its narrative titans.

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Alana and her family had just narrowly escaped being detained, and perhaps connected to a terrorist bombing on some unremarkable planet, when they decided to relocate to another world where their baby formula business might have a better opportunity to prosper. They were also smuggling and selling drugs but were trying to use the proceeds from the powdered milk to purchase a merchant’s medallion, which would allow them to set up shop without the threat of being rousted by the local constabulary. Broke and running out of options, they crossed paths with a pirate ship that could detect the presence of the narcotics on their vessel. The captain, who preferred to be called Skipper, or Skip, and referred to Alana using the same honorific so that neither of them would know the other’s real name of her, made her an offer.

If she was willing to make a drop on a planetoid named Perigons, where anyone caught selling Fadeaway is executed, he would provide her with an authentic medallion, secrets about how to make her illicit cargo harder to sniff out and a hefty bit of cash. To seal the deal he asked her to remove her de ella shirt so he could see if she was Landfallian and when she refused he threatened to rape her children de ella in front of her. She agrees to the mission and warns her her only employee, Bombazine, that Skipper is bad news using coded language. Bombazine takes it in stride and goes on playing the role of dutiful caretaker while Alana prepares to depart for her assignment from her.

Bombazine has demonstrated in just a few issues that he is reliable, charismatic, thinks quickly in tense situations and is genuinely vested in the family’s protection. In the 18 months that he has been a member of their clan he seems to have earned the favor and respect of the children and more importantly, Alana’s trust of her. In issue #57 one of the pirates, who goes by Guitar, recognized Bombazine from another time and place. He lied smoothly but it was clear that he was in fact the same man from her memory of her. In Guitar’s recollection the man she met was a “heartless psycho,” and seemingly incapable of the easy humor that comes so naturally to Bombazine.

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Bombazine gets outed in Saga 57

His reaction indicated that he was almost certainly the same man. Guitar said the person she remembered had both of his arms from her and Bombazine gave a convincing explanation as to how he lost his from her, but he was most likely lying about that as well. This establishes that he may be hiding some portion of the truth from Alana, something that he thinks might jeopardize his surrogacy among this adopted family. If so then Guitar might find herself at the other end of his meat ax from her in an effort to keep his secret from her. Even if his affection from him for Alana’s brood from her turns out to be contrived, he’s spent the last 18 months in their company from her and has probably acclimated to the freedom and distance he’s created between himself and his past from her. If he was eager to get back to it there he certainly seems like there would have been plenty of opportunities to do so in the last year and a half.

Another option is that Bombazine is just as genuine as he seems and his concern doesn’t lie in whether Alana knows or not, if she doesn’t already, but moreso that Guitar might speak to the other pirates about any suspicions she may have had. about his identity. That degree of scrutiny is likely to be unwelcome regardless of Alana’s knowledge of her. In which case his issue of her could spill over to the rest of the crew and if Guitar’s recollection of Bombazine is accurate that issue could be resolved bloodily. However none of this seems as impending as a third potential source of conflict.

Although he attempted to backtrack the threat, Skip made it easily and was only satisfied once Alana demonstrated that she didn’t have any wings, since she had them amputated in preparation for just this type of situation. She left her children with Bombazine because she would never have left them alone and this was before any grim promises relating to the public rape of her son and daughter. Bombazine has more than enough reason to channel a prior proficiency for violence in service of protecting his secrets from him and the children left in his care from her. It is also would be a touchstone honoring Marko’s legacy from him, who also struggled, with his relationship from him to bloodshed, though perhaps for very different reasons. The threatening last panel implies that the situation is approaching a pivotal moment that will go a long way in informing readers about the trajectories of these new and fascinating additions to the saga.

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