Previously in Saga #47
One of the drawbacks of reading comic books — especially when you read a lot — is that sometimes storylines aren’t revisited for several issues and that means several months. It’s easy to forget the details. This issue brought a welcome return to Ghüs and his charge, Squire, and ended — as the issues before a hiatus typically do — with quite the shocker.
Things are pretty dire for Ghüs, Squire, and their fellow castaways, Upsher and Doff. There’s no food, Doff is sick, and there’s still no sign of Marko and Alana. Desperate times call for sacrifice, and Upsher sees no reason they shouldn’t carve into Ghüs’ pet walrus, Friendo, for sustenance. Ghüs delays the execution by offering to head into the Barrens to hunt a Dread Naught for food. As Squire’s kind can see the insides of the invisible beast, he insists on accompanying him.
Squire questions Ghüs on his father’s past, and it’s clear he worries about measuring up. This is particularly interesting because just a few issues ago, Prince Robot IV contemplated suicide because he was sure he’d never be a good father. Though Squire worries about some of the stories he’s heard — particularly that his father has killed women — his father means a lot to him.
When they finally square off with the creature, Squire is unable to kill it despite all of his brave talk earlier. This is a good sign. It’s a miracle that both he and Hazel have managed to hold on to even the smallest bit childhood innocence considering the situations they were born into and the violence that constantly surrounds them.
Of course, their inability to kill the Dread Naught means they’ll have to sacrifice Friendo for food… until they get home to find that Marko, Alana, Prince Robot IV, Hazel, and Petrichor have finally returned. Squire’s reunion with his father is a bit… sterile, but it’s still sweet as it’s obvious how much it means to them.
The ending is a happy one by Saga standards as future Hazel narrates that Squire eventually becomes her brother. But we all know there’s trouble in the form of Ianthe on its way so their happy times are sure to be short lived.