Archives in Comics: Saga #32
Updated: Dec 19, 2020
Saga is one of my favorite on-going comic books. Even when I try to take a break from buying comics for financial reasons, Saga is always the exception. From the moment I read the first issue and was blessed with Fiona Staples beautiful art and colors complimenting Brian K. Vaughan's writing, I was hooked.
It was recently announced, however, that Vaughan and Staples are taking a year-long hiatus (break) after the release of issue #54. I can't blame them. It's a gut-punch of a book that heralds a big change for the characters going forward, so I'm not surprised they need the break in order to come back fresh and begin telling the next leg of the story.
So, in honor of my favorite comic and one of my favorite creative teams, I thought I'd take a look at that time Marko and Alana burnt down an archive!
To begin, let's get some background: Saga is the ongoing...saga of a family trying to exist in a universe that seems ultimately determined to hunt them down and destroy them. Marko (a ram-horned magic-user) and Alana (a fly-winged soldier) are lovers from a warring planet and moon who desert their factions and have a child, Hazel, who also serves as the book's narrator. Prior to issue #32, Marko and Alana were separated by anarchists intent on handing Hazel over to Marko's people. Though they were eventually reunited, Hazel and Marko's mother, Klara, were captured by Alana's people and imprisoned.
It should be noted that this is a very simplified version of a very complex plot and series of events. There are more characters involved, but these are the ones that count for the purposes of this article. I do love the comixology synopsis for this particular issue: Marko and Alana learn some things. Brilliant in its simplicity.
In issue #32, Marko and Alana break into the Hall of Records on planet Variegate to find where Hazel and Klara are being held. It's essentially a mini heist in one issue that involves some quick improvisation, magic keys, bluffing some idiot guards, and one Hail Mary of an escape. Also, they're kind of responsible for the guards setting the place on fire, but that's what happens when the constables are firemen. Like, spouting fire from their hands and heads, firemen. It just seems like a bad fit, ya know?
As for the repository of records, there's nothing significant about it beyond the setting providing important information to the main characters. But, as all things Fiona Staples draws, it's gorgeous and full of beautifully flammable scrolls. It's also another example of a ridiculously technologically advanced society using a very low tech form of recordkeeping. Whether that's out of necessity or for aesthetic purposes is yet to be determined.
Below, you'll find pages 10-13 of Saga #32. Please enjoy, read Saga, and if you're interested, you can listen to myself and Fiona Staples talking about horror movies, art, and some Saga on That Girl with the Curls!