Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: December 17th, 2014
Format: Paperback 152 pages
My Rating: ★★★1/2
From the Eisner Award-winning duo of Brian K. Vaughan (The Private Eye, Pride of Baghdad) and Fiona Staples (Mystery Society, Thor, SAGA is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the universe. As they visit a strange new world and encounter even more adversaries, baby Hazel finally becomes a toddler, while her star-crossed parents Marko and Alana struggle to stay on their feet.
As much as I love this series, I have to admit that this was probably my least favorite of the four trades I have read so far. I think part of the reason is that in this one we are sort of led to believe that Marko and Alanna's relationship is on the cusp of ending. It even seems like the writing set it up for Marko to cheat on her. WHICH IS NOT OKAY!!! Spoiler alert, he doesn't, but it still bothered me that we see the temptation there. Alanna & Marko are supposed to be together forever, please don't break them up.
The couple have some huge fights in this volume, and it ends up leading to events that carry on into the next volume. I do think it was realistic for the two to have these huge fights. Couples have arguments, they fight over money and they say things that they regret. So I do appreciate that we see some reality in this fantasy world.
All the above things are kind of minor issues I had with this volume. I still found the story interesting and I wanted to continue reading it. I think the major thing that I had a real problem with was Alanna's drug use. While she was working on the open circuit she starts doing the drug fadeaway recreationally. The first time she does it knowing that she won't have to take care of her baby for hours, so I was okay with that. However, she seems to get addicted pretty fast and it's part of the reason that her and Marko fight. So yeah I was kind of on Marko's side in that fight, but also because the drug kind of starts to change the Alanna I had come to love.
I wouldn't say that this volume is a bad one, I think maybe it just got too "real" for me. The struggles that Alanna and Marko had were realistic, but I think it was just harder for me to take it all in. I'm definitely still in and I've already finished Volume 5, but this one just wasn't my favorite.
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