by Ryan Mogge
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
When you are a kid, your family creates your idea of normal. It’s only when you go to a friend’s house and things are done just a little differently, that you can really define what makes your family unique. In Saga 44, Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan reinforce what we know about Marko, Alana, and Hazel by giving us a fun-house mirror version of their family.
Maw, Paw, and Kidd have several surface similarities with Saga’s first family. The family is made up of three people. Like Marko and Alana, Maw and Paw are different species and have a child who has a mixture of their parent’s physiology. Each threesome functions as a unit, working together to protect one another. It may be distasteful to watch Maw gun down a pregnant woman, but she is protecting her son who has a gun pointed at him.
Vaughan challenges the reader to find this crew empathetic. When Kidd kills Randy, the violence feels sudden and unjustified. We first see Kidd in a heroic splash page. It’s tempting to see him as a charming rogue, but Vaughan doesn’t give us the chance to dwell too long in that idea before things escalate to murder.
Staples puts Randy’s exploding head right there in the foreground so you can’t miss the viscera. Next, we have a woman murdered and Maw gives a sideways justification that the murder of a pregnant woman is mitigated by her intention to get an abortion. It happens quickly, giving us the feeling that they’ve been through this set of events several times before.
Vaughan sets this family in stark contrast to Marko, Alana, and Hazel. Whereas Paw tell Kidd, “Don’t question, son” Hazel is comfortable asking anything that pops into her head. Maw and Paw have raised their son to kill any stranger who poses a possible threat. Marko tries to instill a pure pacifism into his daughter. Neither of these philosophies are perfect but these ideas are what can hold a family together. Well, that and magic spells.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?