Comic Book / Saga

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Saga_poster_251.jpg

"This is an original fantasy book with no superheroes, two non-white leads and an opening chapter featuring graphic robot sex. I thought we might be cancelled by our third issue."

An intergalactic ongoing series from Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples described as Romeo and Juliet meets Star Wars meets Game of Thrones.

Far off in space, the large planet of Landfall is populated by people sporting (slightly functional) wings of various kinds. The moon of Landfall is called Wreath and is populated by people with various kinds of animal horns. The two races have been waging war for so long that the fight between the 'wings and horns' is just a fact of life. The wings have advanced technology while the horns wield magic — making the whole thing just a little more complicated and brutal.

The actual plot starts when a POW Wreath soldier named Marko gets into a relationship with his guard, Alana. They then escape, breaking out of jail and deserting, respectively, and get married. While hiding out on another planet called Cleave, Alana gives birth to a halfbreed child possessing both wings and horns that they name Hazel. As the new parents rush to escape Cleave alive both factions become aware of the union and seek to kill the parents and possess their child.

Saga contains examples of:

  • Actual Pacifist:
    • Marko is strictly bound to a code of nonviolence and keeps his ancestral sword chained to its scabbard. He briefly breaks off from this belief to defend his family, though he still doesn't actually kill anyone. He returns to his oath and sacrifices his sword to power the rocketship.
    • D. Oswald Heist, who is even more committed to his ideals than Marko.
  • Adult Fear: Their governments both want Marko and Alana dead, and want their baby alive.
  • Alien Blood: People of the Robot Kingdom of course have bright blue blood. They're Blue Bloods, too.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Most of them apart from the people of Wreath speaking esperanto. It becomes awkward to handwave as Translation Convention because letters of the alphabet being mentioned and the word "Hope" being referred to as a person's name and the word "Hope".
  • Ambiguously Human: Sophie, The Will and a few other characters appear to be human, but the word human or the planet Earth are never mentioned.
  • Anti-Villain: Rather prevalent.
    • Prince Robot IV and Gwendolyn seem like decent people apart from being charged with killing Alana and Marko and kidnapping their child.
    • The Will is be perfectly willing to kill whoever he's paid to, and doesn't object to being offered a Sex Slave, but he'll go to great lengths to save a child Sex Slave.
    • Dengo the robot janitor is brutal, but motivated by the loss of a loved one to a disease that could have been prevented if they hadn't been too lowly to afford health insurance.
  • Anyone Can Die: Brian Vaughan does not hold back on killing off characters:
    • The Stalk in Issue 5.
    • Barr, Marko's father, in Issue 11.
    • D. Oswald Heist, the cycloptic author, in Issue 17.
    • Princess Robot, in issue 20.
    • Yuma in issue 28.
    • The Brand in issue 29.
    • Dengo in issue 30.
  • Armchair Military: Both planets realized early on than one world couldn't destroy the other without knocking themselves out of orbit. So the war was outsourced to the rest of the galaxy with the populations of Landfall and Wreath not experiencing or particularly caring about the war.
  • Badass: The series is a Worlds of Badass which is Justified, since they're all living during wartime.
  • Bandage Mummy: One is sitting in the audience and heckling the circuit actors.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: The Will and Gwendolyn. The Will denies it, but Lying Cat knows better.
  • Berserk Button: Alana getting shot is what sets off Marko's rampage against a squad of Landfall soldiers in issue 6. He doesn't stop until she steps in. Prince Robot IV, whenever anyone threatens his wife or unborn child or makes light of the horrific experiences he and others suffered at Threshold None. During a brief interrogation with a belligerent Wreathen PoW, his facial-screen goes into static and he almost puts the prisoner through a steel bulkhead.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: Among Sextillion's many, many options for carnal pleasure are "a wide variety of livestock." Apparently Lying Cat would have had a grand time if she'd been allowed in.
  • Bile Fascination: In Universe. Some people watch The Circuit for this reason.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Wreath's blue moonspeak? Esperanto.
  • Buffy Speak: Shows up from time to time.
  • Casual Kink: Briefly Played for Drama. In the heat of the moment, Alana begs Marko to spank her butt while they're having sex. Marko isn't taken aback by the request, but he can't bring himself to do it. As we find out, it's because he's troubled by his own penchant for violence, and still has baggage over being beaten by his father as a child.
  • Cephalothorax: The attendants on Sextillion are giant human heads with human legs wearing fishnets. It's...gross.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Depending on who's talking the series occasionally falls into this. More often than not it comes from the potty mouthed Alana.
    K-Fabe: FUCKING KILL THIS KILLER FUCK.
  • Cool Ship: The trees of the Rocketship Forest are spacecraft. Granted you can't drive it, just ride it (it is, however, open to suggestions, if it likes you).
  • Country Matters: The series certainly isn't shy about using the term for dramatic effect.
    D.Oswald Heist: You stupid cunts here to take back my advance?
  • Dem Bones: "Bone bugs", as Izabel calls them, animate bone marrow of long-dead creatures to create skeletal constructs.
  • Dirty Coward: By the standards of their respective factions, both Alana and Marko. Alana was demoted to guard duty after a listed case of "abject cowardice" in her first battle. Marko surrendered while claiming to be a conscientious objector. In reality, they tend to be far braver protecting things they care about. They just don't much care about the war.
    • Played straighter with Alana's friend Yuma, who sells out the family out of fear for her own life. She tries to make up for it later.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The newborn Timesuck, an "astrologic super predator." The Will saw one take out a whole armada.
  • Enemy Mine: Between Marko and Prince Robot IV.
  • Esperanto, the Universal Language: The Blue Language, spoken on Wreath is actually badly translated Esperanto.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The Will is still obviously carrying a torch for The Stalk, he's kind to Slave Girl, and there are hints that he and Gwendolyn might be interested in each other. And when his sister The Brand shows up at his bedside, she looks utterly heartbroken to see him in that condition.
    • Prince Robot IV is prone to casual evil like his random execution of The Stalk, but he clearly loves his wife and newborn child.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • When The Will kills an alien child sex trafficker. Hazel notes in her narration that he's a monster, but some monsters are worse than others.
    • The government of Wreath may have hired assassins to hunt down and kill Alana and Marko, but they made sure to specify that Hazel is not to be harmed, and even The Stalk has to back down and mutter "Damn, bitch," to herself when Alana herself holds Hazel at gunpoint just to keep The Stalk away. Landfall and Prince Robot IV however, not so much.
  • Expy:
  • Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods: An octopus works as a guard on Cleave, operating controls form inside a fish tank.
  • Fantastic Racism: The folks of Landfall and Wreath sure do hate the heck out of each other. Prince Robot IV even notes that the whole war has been going on for so long it's now just self-perpetuating: lacking in purpose beyond avenging the latest development in itself.
  • Fantastic Slur: "Moony" is a very common one for the people of Wreath. "Goat-head" is another one. People from Landfall get various unflattering nouns after the word "feathered", and Alana gets called a "housefly". The Robot Kingdom has "machine head," "drone," and "blueblood" - although the latter is literal and might just be an inoffensive nickname.
  • Faster-Than-Light Travel /Teleportation: "Hopscotch" can teleport a spaceship interstellar distances, it even can be done when the ship is on the surface of a planet.
  • First Episode Spoiler: The first issue makes it clear that Hazel will survive the series, her narration suggests that at least one of her parents might not..
    • This statement now complicated even further in Issue 36 when Marko and Alana are revealed to be pregnant with their second child.
  • Fish People: Anyone from Jetsam.
  • Flying Seafood Special: The Will and Gwendolyn hunt flying sharks while stranded on a planet.
  • Forced Sleep: Barr and Quain have both done this to Alana.
  • Forcefield Door: The prison on Cleave has ones that let guards walk through but presumably stop the prisoners getting out.
  • Foreshadowing: Hazel's narration refers to future events on occasion, such as mentioning a boy who broke her heart while the story's still about her as a baby. Sometimes she's more subtle about it, such as mentioning that she and her family are commoners in a panel showing Dengo's TV face displaying an angry skull. A few issues later, Dengo starts carving his way through the galaxy, motivated by the unjust way Planet Robot's commoners are treated.
  • Forever War: It's been going on so long it's an ingrained part of both cultures.
  • Fourth Wall Psych: One issue opens with a full-page spread of a shirtless Marko looking straight at the "audience" and saying "Please don't stop reading." The next page reveals that he's talking to Alana, who is reading her romance novel aloud to him.
  • Genki Girl:
    • Izabel is pretty excitable and pleasant for a ghost of a kid who stepped on a land mine.
    • Prince Robot IV's attaché during his trip to the prison complex is jarringly enthusiastic about everything.
    • The mouse medic who treated Prince Robot IV at Threshold None is also cheery, frank and talkative - even mildly flirtatious - until she dies graphically and gruesomely in a gas-attack because no one bothered to give her a mask.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: Marko and Alana are shown to have healthy libidos and a pleasantly kinky sex life, even continuing to have sex while Alana is pregnant. By contrast, Prince Robot IV is first introduced as he fails to get it up while having sex with his wife, and he blows several months having emotionally empty sex with prostitutes on Sextillion after being shot by Heist. Lampshaded by Oswald Heist, who explains that the title of his book The Opposite of War actually refers to sex; the pacifist Marko and Alana have a loving sex life, which the more hawkish characters don't.
  • Grey and Grey Morality: Prince Robot IV's wife feels the war is, at this point, a battle of two fairly "good" groups, since neither side has either the moral high or low ground.
  • Gun Safety: 'You took a firearm?! Are you insane?! Do you have any idea how what the statistics are for parents who keep one of those in [the home]?!' Note this is before said parents even have a home. Or a life expectancy.
  • Half-Breed Discrimination: Both the higher-ups on Landfall and Wreath are specifically concerned over Hazel's existence, but in terms that imply utter disgust.
  • Healing Magic Is the Hardest. Barr says that a cleric told him that his illness is in the "spell resistant final stage".
    • Marko tells Gwendolyn that healing magic only works on other people from Wreath, meaning that she can't use it on The Will.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Dengo is killed by Prince Robot IV shortly after deciding to help Alana and Marko.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Barr saves the life of his family with a difficult magic spell, knowing full well that his ailing heart probably can't take the strain. He was, sadly, correct. He also knew that he had less than a month to live anyways.
    • Yuma, in order to save the ship.
  • Heteronormative Crusader: Doff and Upsher come from a planet that has institutionalized homophobia, forcing them to go off-world in order to remain together.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Will's Lying Cat points out when people are lying. That means fooling The Will is nigh-impossible. Unfortunately for him, the Cat also has a tendency to point out when The Will himself is lying (for instance, when he claims to Gwendolyn that he's going to need more money to hunt down Marko and Alana).
  • Horned Humanoid: Marko and the other inhabitants of Wreath. Being half-Wreathen, Hazel has them too - in addition to wings like Alana.
  • Humanoids Are White: Very thoroughly averted, as the page quote notes. The winged people of Landfall, the horned people of Wreath, other humanoid aliens like Heist, and the seemingly "normal" humans like The Will and Sophie appear to come in the same variety of skin tones and features that Earth offers (and then some).
  • Interspecies Romance: Marko and Alana most prominently, but also numerous other couples, almost-couples, and ex-couples throughout the series: The Will and The Stalk, Heist and Yuma, The Will and Gwendolyn, Klara and Heist...
  • Intrepid Reporter: Doff and Upsher, a couple of tabloid reporters who are following the rumors of Hazel's birth because more respectable sources dismiss it entirely and assume it's all rumors. Despite their tabloid journalist status, they manage to score interviews with Alana's old commander (who's in the middle of an active war zone) and Special Agent Gale (who, naturally, denies the rumors entirely).
  • Language of Magic: Blue Language/Esperanto.
  • Laser Blade: Sextillion enforcers invoke the trope when The Will points what seems to be a sword handle without a sword at them, asking him if he's going to kill them with his "faggy laser sword". The Will promptly shuts them up by impaling one of them without even leaving the spot he was standing at - it's not a sword, it's a lance. (It's not a laser weapon for that matter, either).
  • Last of His Kind: There's only one male dragon left.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When spoken, the Wreathen's native language is written in speech bubbles with blue text, implying some kind of accent or — most commonly — that they are using magic. When Marko introduces Alana to his parents for the first time, he has to point out that Alana "doesn't know how to speak Blue yet". The in-universe name for the blue text is Blue! Possibly justified. Since their language is so heavily tied to magic, it is possible that some inherent magic in the language induces a specific form of synesthesia in anyone hearing it, thus making them perceive the spoken language as blue.
  • Living Ship: Rocketship Forest is a very, very literal name.
  • A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away...: As to hammer the point home, the only (apparently) straight up humans we've seen are The Will, Sophie, and The Brand.
  • Magic Versus Science: The people of Landfall use high technology and those of Wreath use magic. They seem pretty evenly matched.
  • Magitek: Very liberally sprinkled throughout each issue thus far.
  • Magnum Opus Dissonance: An in-universe example. D. Oswald Heist, the author of Alana's favorite book that changed her life, considers it hackwork that he wrote to pay the bills. Subverted in that he's lying in an effort to mislead IV.
  • Male Frontal Nudity
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: Alana and Marko's relationship. The higher-ups on both sides are not happy about it, and are outright disgusted that they've had a child.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Alana is foul-mouthed, pragmatic and trigger happy; Marko is nurturing, idealistic and romantic. Also applicable to Klara — a sharp tempered, no-nonsense Mama Bear — and her husband Barr, who is much calmer, level headed and knows his way around a spinning wheel.
  • Mechanical Lifeforms: Prince Robot IV's people.
  • Meddling Parents: Prince Robot IV's father doesn't care that he's trying to start a family and settle down after surviving a hellish campaign. His demanding orders are the driving force in his son's life. And Marko's parents Barr and Klara, arguably.
  • Medium Awareness: Ghüs the seal can apparently tell when people are misspelling his name, even when they're just speaking it.
    The Brand: My Sidekick and I would just like to ask you a few questions, Mister...?
    Ghüs: Ghüs.
    The Brand: Goose?
    Ghüs: Nope, Ghüs.
    The Brand: I thought that's what I just... Regardless.
  • Meet Cute: Hazel invokes this when narrating how her parents met, sadly it's Alana pistol whipping Marko in a prison cell.
  • Misapplied Phlebotinum: The Circuit lets you interact with people in other galaxies through virtual reality and they only seem to use it for watching soap opera-style plays.
  • Murder, Inc.: The Freelancers, overlapping with Weird Trade Union occasionally for comedy. In a lot of ways, they represent a power in and of themselves to equal (or at least be considered in the same breath as) the warring races and their allies, except that they're neutral, accepting contracts from both sides at their own discretion.
  • No Antagonist: The closest thing to a Big Bad is the Forever War itself, which is well past the point of being controllable by any person or faction.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted. Alana says that it "feels like I'm shitting!" when giving birth to Hazel (this is a common side effect of childbirth), and Prince Robot IV is seen on the toilet in issue 5. Note that this is the first page, while the cover to issue 5 is a royal portrait with the Prince in full regalia.
  • Non-Human Head: There's an entire race of people with televisions for heads.
  • No Ontological Inertia: The Embargon spell that The Brand uses to stop the Doff and Upsher talking can be reversed if the caster is hung until dead.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Live on Demimonde but are nearly extinct. The mares urinate on their victims which will cause family members to attack them and the bulls have better hearing than the females.
  • Papa Wolf/Mama Bear: A running theme throughout the entire series.
    • Marko breaks his vow of pacifism and single-handedly destroys an entire squad of heavily armed, power-armoured Landfall soldiers with his sword alone, defending Hazel and avenging what he thought was Alana's "death".
    • Alana makes it very clear she would rather see Hazel dead by her own hand than alive in the hands of monsters.
    • Prince Robot IV shoots The Stalk dead the split-second he thinks she's about to pull a weapon. As he does so, a rattle appears on his monitor, implying that his thought process was that he had to be alive to raise his future child at all costs.
    • The Will in what counts as a Pet the Dog moment, is more than prepared to kill dozens of Sextillion gangsters and risk his own death in order to save Slave Girl, who he so far seems to have 'adopted' until he can find her a home.
    • Marko's parents sold their house in order to get the magical tools that would allow them to find Marko.
    • D. Oswald Heist is an unusual non-violent version. When his son committed suicide as a result of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Heist risked his own career and safety to write a subversive anti-war novel aimed against the two most powerful — and most dangerous — powers in the galaxy, the Landfallians and the Wreathens.
  • Petting Zoo People: Most of the aliens.
  • Percussive Prevention: Yuma knocks Ghus out with a fire extinguisher to stop him getting killed while fixing the fuel leak.
  • Planetary Romance
  • Plant Aliens: Yuma.
  • Pleasure Planet: Sextillion.
  • Professional Killer: The Will and The Stalk. The name used in the series is "Freelancers".
  • Punch Clock Villain: This trope sums up the Freelancers perfectly. Accept a contract, kill your target, take the check and leave. Nothing personal, Just Business.
  • Ramming Always Works: Alana insists on ramming the heartseeker missile The Will fires at their ship because it won't explode until it has flown a certain distance from The Will's ship.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Yuma dies fixing a fuel leak, but saves Prince Robot, Marko and Ghus.
  • Refuge in Vulgarity: Between TV Head Robot sex and... well, everything on Sextillion, Vaughan and Staples pack in plenty of gleefully disgusting awfulness.
  • Reinforce Field: Both Barr and Gwendoline have used magic to hold damaged spaceships together, in Barr's case this is what finished him off.
  • Religion Is Magic: Wreath's chief magic users are called clerics.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Quain plays this straight. Originally averted with the Robot Kingdom having crocodile servants that seemed nice enough.
  • The Reveal:
    • Issue 12 is an entire issue dedicated to Prince Robot IV interrogating author D. Oswald Heist about his book and if he knows where Marko, Alana, and Hazel are. Cue the very last page, where Marko, Alana, Hazel, and Klara are all in the very same house as Heist and IV, and have been there for a week.
    • In Issue 15, The Will's visions of The Stalk, encouraging him to settle down and start a new life, are actually a hallucination brought on by parasites in the planet's indigenous flora and fauna that make their hosts violently want to stay put.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Prince Robot IV's entire race. In addition to having sex and bearing children, there's also a case of Prince Robot IV using a toilet. And having erectile dysfunction.
  • Rock Monster: Oswald wrote a romance novel about one of these dating a quarry owner's daughter.
  • Rule of Drama: The horned humanoids and winged humanoids are locked in endless proxy war in the first place because their homeworlds are orbiting each other. Neither faction can afford to destroy the other's world because they'd go spinning into space. A reader can think of plenty of ways to sterilize a world without destroying it, but then there'd be no story.
  • Saint-Bernard Rescue: Brutally inverted with The Brand's pet, Sweet Boy - a dog (or dog-like creature) that is very similar to a Saint-Bernard, but with absolutely terrifying Glowing Eyes of Doom. Sweet Boy does carry a little barrel around his neck... labeled with a skull and crossbones - he is not a rescue dog but an assassination dog.
    • Don't forget his weaponized nostrils loaded with tranquilizer darts.
  • Science Fantasy: Let's see: Space Travel, Space Wars, Ridiculously Human Robots, Magic, Ghosts...
  • Seashell Bra: An amphibian girl from Jetsam is wearing one in the audience of the circuit
  • Series Continuity Error: A minor one. The first issue specifies that Wreath is Landfall's only satellite but it's said later on that they're both orbited by the Robot Kingdom.
  • Small Universe After All: Alana suggests running away to another galaxy because she heard that draft dodgers have been offered sanctuary.
  • Snake People: Quain.
  • Soap Within a Show: The Circuit is a bizarre one with pirates and superheroes.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: Both sides have their fair share of these. At one point Alana and Marko run across a squad of trigger happy Landfall soldiers with the phrases "wings of death" and "born to kill" scribbled on their helmets.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: The Robot Kingdom is modelled after English nobility, so when Prince Robot IV's in a temper he gets to say things like "Now be a dear and fuck the fuck off."
    Prince Robot IV: Belay that fuckery.
  • Space Opera
  • Spell My Name with a "The": Freelancers have names in the format of 'The <Word>'. Notable in that "The" is always capitalized and is almost always included ("Good luck, The Will"). Her being called "The Stalk" also gives Marko pause and makes Alana immediately realize she's a Freelancer when they first encounter The Stalk. Other known Freelancers include The Import, The March, The Fluke, and The Brand.
  • Stun Guns: Alana has a Heartbreaker, a small pistol that isn't lethal, just paralyzing. Marko describes the effect as what it felt like when his dog died, so it seems to not so much stun as overwhelm the target with emotion (sadness, judging by the name and the effect as described), leaving them temporarily incapable of taking any effective action. It's later stated that a shot from it would probably kill Hazel, so presumably there's also some kind of physiological effect. It does nothing against robots.
  • Stylistic Suck: D. Oswald Heist's novel "A Nighttime Smoke" is an outwardly bad romance story about a rich woman and a rock monster. The novel actually is a subversion of many tropes tailored to deliver an anti-war message: two people who should be monstrous to each other but wind up as lovers. The author disguised it as a drab romance novel he wrote to make a quick buck to hide its true nature from the authorities.
  • Subspace Ansible: They have audio and visual phones that communicate instantly over interstellar distances.
    • The Circuit shows virtual reality plays over what are implied to be intergalactic distances.
  • Time Skip:
    • At the end of issue 18. About two years, give or take.
    • Another one at the end of issue 30.
  • Translator Microbes: Marko and Alana have rings that were enchanted with a translator spell. Gwendolyn has a pendant that does the same thing. They're actually a matched set.
  • Thinking Up Portals: Magical helmets called Crash Helms let you do this.
  • TV Head Robot:
    • Prince Robot IV, disturbingly enough. The screen is usually blank but it sometimes displays what he's thinking/talking about, who he's talking to, or something related to what he sees. When he's overly emotional it shows random, vaguely appropriate images.
    • Due to a misunderstanding between Comixology and Apple, issue #12 was initially not available for purchase through the iTunes stores because of this. Prince Robot IV has a flashback to a time he got shot in battle and his face monitor is covered for several panels with pictures of pornography, presumably as a robot way of dropping a Cluster F-Bomb. It's later shown to be a kind of near death experience-cum-sex fantasy.
    • King Robot may as well be the king of this trope.
    • Being poor, Dengo has a black and white TV with knobs for tuning it.
Just look at him!
  • Unstoppable Rage: Marko in issue 5 after Alana is shot in the shoulder by a Landfallian soldier.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The series is littered with it! There's Prince Robot IV's people, the Robot Kingdom, who are metallic humanoids with TVs for heads; The Stalk, a chalk-white woman with eight red eyes whose bare humanoid torso is armless while her spider-like lower body has eight limbs with opposable clawed thumbs; the unnerving and distinctly nonsexy inhabitants of Sextillion; and on, and on, and on...
    • Sextillion gives a rather hilarious example - after walking around the city and witnessing things like a massive orgy of Landfallians, a dinosaur toy with a gigantic dildo dick, and something which seems to be a cross between a naked woman and a centipede, The Will complains that everything he's seen so far feels "too safe". Of course, this is the same guy who was once romantically involved with said nightmarish spider-person with eight eyes and no arms.
  • Unusual User Interface: The controls on the HMS Skyscraper involve you putting your hands on some kind of gel pad.
  • Virtual Reality: When you watch plays on The Circuit, you're sitting in the audience and can heckle the cast members.
  • Visual Pun: Marko's rather aggressive mother wields, appropriately enough, a battle-axe. Isabel even calls her that out at one point.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Gwendolyn vomits when she sees an illusion of her ex and Oswald drunkenly vomits over Hazel's head the first time he meets the main characters.
  • War Is Hell: And for more reasons than just the obvious. The front lines are exactly as horrifying as you'd expect in a galaxy where one side wields roughly modern weapons and the other inventively deadly magic. But both sides realised at some point that they couldn't continue the war on their home turf - destroying Wreath or Landfall would see its opposing celestial body hurled out of orbit and destroyed too. In order to continue the conflict, they outsourced it, effectively dragging every other world into their fight. There are conscripts and enlisted soldiers who just want to finish their service and go home, risking and losing their lives (some only there for the entitlements offered soldiers, like tertiary scholarships); planets whose whole native populations have been wiped out, and nobody knows or cares which side it was; refugees in camps where they're kidnapped by or sold to sex/slave traffickers; thinning resources; orphans, widows and widowers not just from violence but also from mentally-shattered or mutilated veterans committing suicide. It goes on and on. You could sum up Izabel with the trope name: the ghost of a teenage girl, parents rebelling against both occupying forces but personally uninterested in fighting, who stepped on a land mine and found herself stuck defending her planet in death. Her people were wiped out anyway, and she doesn't even know who was responsible.
  • Was Too Hard on Him: Barr regrets not having been a better father to Marko. Marko, however, seems to have fond memories of his dad from being a kid.
  • Wham Line: Final page of issue 19. This is the story of how my parents split up.
  • Winged Humanoid: Alana; it's a characteristic of Landfall natives. Hazel has them too.
  • Wizards from Outer Space: Marko. Well, all of the Wreathens.
  • World Shapes: The planet The Will and Gwendolyn get stranded on is spikey and Demimonde is only half a planet.
  • You Fail Astronomy Forever:
    • Landfall is referred to as the largest planet in the galaxy. In Real Life, the largest known planets are gas giants that wouldn't be able to support humanoid life.
    • The Robot Kingdom is specified to be a dwarf planet because it's too small to be a planet and too big to be a moon. The fact that it orbits Landfall means that it's a planet regardless of its size.

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