The Weight of Memories in Saga 47

by Ryan Mogge

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

We all experience millions of moments. Some are life-changing, some represent a larger theme in our lives, and some don’t seem to mean much of anything. If you could choose three of these moments to tell your story, it would be hard not to stick to the benchmarks: births, deaths, weddings, etc. In Saga 47, Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples give us a few glimpses into The Will’s past and, by the nature of storytelling, we know that these are not random, but their selection tells a story of its own.

The Will is being held captive by Ianthe, whose fiance The Will murdered years before. Of course, that moment wouldn’t make The Will’s memory highlight reel. While the entirety of the issue takes place during one of Ianthe’s torture sessions, Vaughan starts out in what is probably the most pivotal of the memories that we see.

Seeing Billy transform from a little kid who moves with the kind of buoyant energy that only the under-ten can approximate to a child with his father’s blood sprayed across his face. Staples does an excellent job portraying Billy in this pre-The Will sequence, and the image of Uncle Steve/The Letter cuts a heroic figure as he protects his niece. Is there really any wonder that that Billy and Sophie entered their uncle’s vocation?

The other two memories are less obvious choices in a “This is Your Life” reel. We see The Will slaughtering a parking garage full of Rowell-looking aliens while The Stalk offers a fumbling come on, then Gwendolyn bathing as The Will acts like a gentleman. Because neither of these scenes are as clearly impactful, they inspire a closer reading. Vaughan and Staples had to know this. They framed the series as a story told by an adult Hazel, her perspective coloring the events that she shares.

Also – RIP, Sweet Boy.

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