Saga always comes back to love and the violence born from it. That pacifism should be strived for even in the face of unrelenting odds. That the opposite of war isn’t peace, it’s love.
This is encapsulated in a small moment on a moon where Marco’s body was dumped. Never shy of showing us the face of death, Issue 62 opens on his torso, robbed of his head, gaping hole in his chest, skin discolored and limbs awkwardly posed like a doll in the rigidity of creeping rigor mortis. An image thrown in our face after the promise of revival in Issue 61’s ending. It speaks as a reminder to the finality of death. These last issues keep showing Marco to us in a sort of extended wake for him, and as all wakes do, act as closure and put to rest any ideas that just maybe, they aren’t gone. In the end it’s about how we move on.
Alana and Petrichor stand vigil, disagreeing on how one does such a thing. Petrichor is out for blood, caught on the scent of the monster that killed both of their loves, but Alana sees no sense in finding frontier justice and adding to the violence, focused more than ever on caring for Hazel.
“Sorry, but dedicating the rest of my life to some dopey blood feud is literally the last thing Marko would have wanted.”
“Then it would be best if you leave me at the next port, because you and I are obviously headed in very different directions.”
These are the two camps the cast seem to divide into.
Alana’s commitment is highlighted in the present at her refusal to Vitch’s offer and explanation to Hazel and Squire of liars that peddle in hopes and dreams. At the end of this lesson, a whole panel is dedicated to her rising up from a crouch slowly from the aches of her job and perhaps age. We age and we die. Saga revels in the little details of the passage of time.
And who has time ravaged more than The Will? He stands atop a cliff looking more and more like a villain and a pirate day by day. Gone is his blue, superhero-esque cape, now traded for a black trench coat, white low-cut shirt, maroon pants, and a hook for a hand. Sophie approaches, always looking older and older. It feels like just yesterday The Will was crushing skulls and rescuing her.
The Will’s plan to propose to Gwen, brings this story up. While Sophie has blocked out most of what happened to her on Sextillion, The Will killing her captor is not one of them and she doesn’t consider this a bad thing. It helps her sleep.
“I learned a very valuable lesson that day. The knowledge that someone who grievously wronged us has been snuffed from this mortal coil doesn’t exactly bring one peace…”
“… but it ain’t nothing.”
We know what camp these two are in, don’t we? It’s hard to preach love and pacifism to a girl who suffered sexual abuse, a violent act masquerading under the guise of love, and then was ultimately saved by violence. As always, I feel the future confrontation between Hazel and Sophie is ever so present, under the shadow of their parents.
It’s interesting to note that when Sophie expresses that The Will’s actions against Marko have probably been beneficial to Gwen too, Lying Cat simply “Mrrrn”s. Last issue showed Gwen haunted in her dreams. Also when The Will tells Sophie he doesn’t deserve someone like her in his life, Sophie says “Lying” instead of Lying Cat. It’s unclear whether Sophie saying it and while giving her a pet cut it off, or if it is a nod to The Will’s trail of violence.
Even more interesting is Gwen’s fear of who just showed up, referring to them as “The last motherfucker I ever expected to see here.” She not only wants The Will to leave but to take Lying Cat with him, meaning she’s going to be playing a dangerous game with her new guest.
Someone from the robot kingdom? Whoever it is, it’s unlikely it’ll all go away as clean as Gwen hopes.
Squire is also ready to act. Alana reading them D. Oswald Heist’s book comes with the best of intentions, but it can never be clear what words will spring someone to action. The line “Revenge…is…retarded,” has Sophie rage at the outdated slur but Squire leaves with the image of Vitch on his screen.
“I know now that Mom genuinely believed reading her son this story might eventually help save his life… but she was too late. Squire had already finished “A Midnight Smoke” on his own, twice. He thought it opened okay but got boring in the middle, and even its most “shocking” parts were just more meaningless talk. In the real world, all that mattered was action.”
Hazel’s future narration guarantees that Squire’s actions have consequences for him. If not death then at least something that alters his life forever.
On Gardenia, Ginny the dance instructor makes a return, though a tragically brief one. It seems Agent Gale is looking for Upsher and the women and children aren’t safe from keeping the paper trail tidy.
Between Petrichor on the hunt for The Will, how that may affect Squire’s own desire of revenge and to bring back his father, Gale hunting for Upsher, and Gwen’s plan to get the Robot Kingdom on her side, all the pieces are on track to collide in a way that will leave love and pacifism behind in promise of violence.
Who ever does, right?