The familial aspect of Saga has always been the emotional core of the series. Whether it’s Hazel, her parents, or two alien newsboys with perfectly coiffed hair, we tend to get the best story threads when character interaction is at the forefront. “Saga #15” embraces this, and ends up being one of the more beautiful and touching issues of the entire run.
You can’t knock Brian K. Vaughan for lack of compelling personalities. I could spend multiple issues getting to know each and every character, there isn’t a single one I don’t enjoy (even the dastardly Prince Robot IV and his robot allies). It’s through this character building that BKV can simultaneously crush our hearts and lift our spirits on an individual page. The budding romance between Marko’s mother and Oswald was a delight in the last issue, and I’m happy to report it continues (albeit very slightly) into the happiest scene of the book.
For a few brief pages, the two couples play a hilariously twisted alien version of Pictionary. The dialogue absolutely shines in its successful attempts to remind us of the family arguments that continue to linger while Marko and Alana are fugitives hiding from two entire worlds. Oswald’s quip about Alana misinterpreting the point of his novel was spot on as well. After that however, Hazel brings us back down to earth with a somber life lesson. Her narration from the future, thought upon as the backbone of the story, remains poignant and thoughtful regardless of her parents current situation.
The Will has some big decisions in his story this month, and the ramifications are going to shape the direction that Saga takes in the future. Without giving too much away, he’s finally able to make a choice before painfully realizing it’s not as simple as it sounds. He ends on a massive cliffhanger, one that I think is a satisfying injection of your “what-the-hell?!” moment in a series chock full of them.
Is there really a point in discussing Fiona Staples’ art? It’s sublime as expected and not a single face or background falters. She’s nailed the look from the start, and the story is exhaustively brought to life during every crucial moment. Reading the letters section is always worth a few extra minutes, even if it’s just to hear BKV talk about the bizarre things he’s made Fiona draw. Not to mention the gorgeous cover that’s an homage to Alana’s favorite book, A Night Time Smoke. Plenty of conclusions to be drawn from that alone.
We all love Saga and Vaughan makes sure Saga loves us back. This is his best issue since the brief hiatus a few months ago. From Image itself, “Everything starts coming together” is the perfect summation. That month-long wait after the cliffhanger ending only gets more painful.