Winter Sunlight

A far more spoilery Saga post

This is nothing like a coherently thoughtful post, and more like disconnected thoughts that I had while reading the comic.

- One of the thoughts that kept bugging me throughout the series was: seriously, this situation has never come up before? Especially since both armies have mixed male and female troops on the front line. You get soldiers falling in love with locals in every conflict ever (even somewhere like Afghanistan, where the social barriers in the way are HUGE). Even if actual romance is rare due to the prejudice between the two nations, surely there must have been rape and babies resulting from it? But then I got to thinking about the Landfallian secret service's efforts to cover it up ... and who knows, maybe it has happened. Maybe a lot. We wouldn't know. Maybe this is just the first time they've had this much trouble keeping a lid on it.

- As much as I love the Alana/Marko family (and I do!) I've found myself getting even more invested in the weird little family unit that's accidentally coalesced around The Will, possibly because they've kind of snuck up from outside the main storyline. The story is about Alana and Marko and their kin/friends/babysitters, but The Will and Sophie (mark 2) and Gwendolyn and now The Brand are just kind of hanging out in the background, having their own adventures, and I've been loving every minute of it. I was so happy that Sophie wasn't just left behind after her first appearance, and I'm delighted with how she's coming into her own as a character as she grows up. I'm also very curious about The Will and The Brand's shared past. Despite having been (it's implied) estranged for years, they seem to have been very close at one point -- he names his de facto daughter after her, and she cries over him in the hospital (and she really does not seem to be a crying kind of person). I also had the thrilling little zing! of really, truly thinking he was dead, or at least in a permanent vegetative state that meant he was gone as a character, only to have that tantalizing thread of hope dangled in #24. His is the first character death that's really hurt -- there were certainly characters, like the author guy or Marko's father, that I didn't want to lose, but none that made me go NOOOOO until The Will apparently bought it, and I'm desperately hoping the promise of healing will pan out. MORE, GIVE ME MORE.

- The anything-goes worldbuilding is such a delight. I've rarely run across a setting that mixes sci-fi and fantasy so effectively. Neither feels out of place. Of course they have spaceships and spells, lasers and robots and unicorns and giant spider people. Why wouldn't they?

- I also find it fascinating how the story itself explicitly deals with story/narrative, but not in the kind of over-the-top, fourth-wall-breaking way that is the only other way I've seen it worked into the fabric of the worldbuilding like this. I mean, you have some books/movies with characters who are very much Aware They Are In A Story, and this is definitely not that. But that thread of meta about the narrative is still very much there, from Marko's people's belief in The Narrative (and that Marko is breaking it by running off with Alana), to all of the stuff with the romance-novel author and changing people's minds via books, to Alana working in a troupe of melodrama entertainers (and all of the corresponding philosophical musing about how they can't change people's minds, they can only change people's feelings, but maybe that's worthwhile too), and now Sophie's insistence that she and Gwyndolyn are on A QUEST. The most overt of the series' running themes is Family, but Narrative (and the meaning of story) is the other main theme, I think, and I find that terribly interesting.

That's all I can think of right now that I specifically wanted to talk about, though I'll probably think of a bunch more after I hit post ...

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there were certainly characters, like the author guy or Marko's father, that I didn't want to lose, but none that made me go NOOOOO until The Will apparently bought it

Agree, except I earlier found myself saying "No!" out loud when the Lying Cat got sucked out of the ship into vacuum.

It is such a delight to come upon stories that make you invested like that in a character.
Oh, yes, I agree on Lying Cat! I think that one slipped my mind because, reading the whole thing in a day and a half, I only had to suffer for a few pages on that one, whereas The Will stayed "dead" for something like AN ENTIRE GRAPHIC NOVEL. But yes, that was definitely a NOOOO moment too!

I love how deeply these characters have drawn me in. I strongly suspect this series is going to trample all over my heart with spiky boots in the end, because Brian K. Vaughan, but I am going to cling to a hope of happiness for them in the meantime. XD