Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Fiona Staples
Type: Fiction, comic
Collects issues: 19-24
I read it: May 2015
While retaining its grandiosity, this volume brings the story closer to what it has worked to be from the beginning: a domestic tale. It’s still set against a backdrop of political upheaval, but the core arc features Marko as a stay-at-home dad (with a couple family nannies) and Alana working a crap job as an entertainer to put food on the table.
“From the moment it’s formed, a family is almost always under attack.” This is one of baby Hazel’s observations, alluding to the dangers of a woman at the park who befriends Marko, and equally applicable to Alana’s budding drug problem. Hazel’s narrations edge a bit closer to the fourth wall with each volume, offering wide ideas like:
Characters are supposed to have ‘arcs,’ where they grow and evolve over the course of the story.
In the real world, people never change that much.
This is accurate for the current story, in which Alana remains gratingly reactionary (she’s the type of person I’d never want to hang out with in real life, but it makes her believable if nothing else) and Marko is mopey and selfish. The volume benefits from limiting the number of new characters (including one new baby whose page one entrance you can’t miss), and with all the important characters established the table is pretty well set for the everyone to interact in interesting ways. The Saga continues.