You Always Hurt The Ones You Love in Saga 49

by Spencer Irwin

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

Jane: You’re willing to have [your story] published and read by strangers, but you don’t want your best friend to see it?
Daria: Thank you for understanding.

Daria, The Story of D

I’ve never been all that good at communicating with my parents, especially when it comes to details about my life. It isn’t because I don’t like them or we don’t get along, but because I care so much about what they think about me that I’m terrified I’ll upset or disappoint them. It’s the same reason it’s easier for me to share my writing with, or even sing karaoke in front of, strangers than friends — people who actually know and care about you, whose opinions you respect, can hurt you far more than anyone else. Saga 49 finds more cast members than ever crammed into tight quarters, which makes the wounds they inflict upon each other all the more painful.

Seriously, there’s nine people and a walrus riding Alana and Marko’s ship now; they can’t help but to get close to each other. Some of this closeness is frustrating, like Marko overhearing Prince Robot and Petrichor’s sex, while in other ways it’s sweet, especially when it comes to Robot and Petrichor’s blooming relationship. Mostly, though, it just means that the crew are learning exactly how to push each others’ buttons, how to hurt each other the most.

The most severe case of this comes when Robot approaches Upsher and Doff with a deal that could lead to their entire party’s deaths. This is bad enough, but Hazel’s narration implies that the worst part of this proposal is the fact that, even if just on a subconscious level, Robot knows how much this could hurt his friends, yet goes through with it anyway. The act hurts, but the fact that it comes from a trusted companion (albeit a reluctant one) hurts far worse.

This is perhaps best exemplified, though, by Hazel’s spat with young Squire.

Thanks to their blunt honesty, kids are often crueler than adults anyway, but in this particular situation, Hazel is close enough to Squire to know exactly how to hurt him the most. Unlike many adults, though, seeing Squire’s reaction cuts her to the core. Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan make a smart choice to hide Squire’s face and instead focus on the heartbreak flashing across Hazel’s. This is the moment where she’s learned how powerful her words can be, and how horrible it can be to hurt someone close to you. Hazel’s narration implies that this is a definitive moment in her life, and unfortunately, it looks like she’s learned a lesson that some of her adult companions haven’t quite managed to yet.

The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?

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One comment on “You Always Hurt The Ones You Love in Saga 49

  1. Can I loan Saga to mature high school students? I feel like I can, but I don’t know.

    And you know, I don’t need the nudity most of the time. The Will being naked did not make this a better comic for me in any way. I’d guess that at least 90% of the nudity isn’t necessary. Maybe I’m a prudish American, but I think I’d prefer it without it. I could share it with more people.

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