At just past the would-be half-way mark of what’s speculated to likely be a 100-issue epic creator-owned series, SAGA is that comfortable, reliable favorite series that you come to simply expect to deliver exactly what you need from a series — not unlike a favorite TV showing deliver the goods each and every week of the season. That’s exactly what I experienced reading Chapter Fifty One. Saga’s vast cast of characters never fail to be compelling from scene to scene, issue to issue. The plots never meander and rarely fail to surprise and thrill.
A relatively “quiet” issue, this one opens with Squire and his father Prince Robot discussing the suspiciously missing Princess Robot. Longtime readers know the truth behind that story. Next we find young Hazel in the ocean, not-quite being babysat by Ghüs, Friendo and Doff. A “mustached kingfish” leads photojournalist Doff off to this chapter’s climax at the end, but not before we discover Hazel’s dad Marko writing a novella that gets lovingly criticized (not too harshly) by his wife and Hazel’s mother, Alana. Oh, and there’s the matter of Petrichor’s (along with Prince Robot and Squire’s) new identity plan that starts heading toward a resolution (well, maybe — you never know in this universe).
That aforementioned adventure to photograph the usually elusive mustached kingfish? Well, that adventure ends tragically, unfortunately. However, that death is an honorable one thanks in no small part to loyalty. Of course, SAGA remains an epic story that is no stranger to purposeful deaths.
All in all, a rather fulfilling chapter, especially if you consider how the plot continues to serve a variety of characters in its twenty-two pages. After six years and fifty-one issues in, SAGA enters its middle-age poised and graceful while its co-creators Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples continue to show the comics industry how it’s done!