Not all characters make it. It’s a sad fact known to any book lucky enough to go on for any sizable run, and it’s one already well known to Saga and it’s fans. With chapter #38, Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples bid adieu to a long-running player, in turn opening the door for new and encroaching dangers.
The fact that the issue opens in downright hilarious fashion should have been the first sign that things were about to go wrong, but such is the way of Saga. It builds you up, it tears you down, rinse and repeat. And in some ways, that cyclical sense is emblematic of Vaughan’s approach to arc building in general. Hazel and her family have encountered quite the motley collection of displaced spacefarers up to this point, making their latest hangers-on none too surprising. What is engaging about this chapter isn’t how much Marko, Alana and Hazel have changed, but rather how much they’ve stayed the same. Despite everything they’ve been through, family is still paramount in their minds, and with each new arc their definition, and number, of family grows. That’s not to say that they haven’t evolved over time – Hazel, for better or worse, continues to come into her own – but rather that their circumstances haven’t changed their values.