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Alana and Marko fell in love despite being on opposite sides of a sprawling interplanetary war. Alana has just given birth and they are now literally on the run for their lives and that of newly daughter Hazel from Landfall Coalition forces who have tracked them to the planet Cleave. Marko’s plan is to obtain a rocket ship and with A vaguely defined map in hand they frantically start making their way through an area referred to as simply “The Woods”. Little do they know that a feared mercenary named The Stalk, who appears to be a female hybrid of a human and spider, is in pursuit. She ambushes the runaways, gravely wounding Marko. Ominous sounds begin to arise all around them, leading The Stalk to believe the stories that The Woods are haunted by unspeakable evil and she flees for her life rather than risk it for the bounty.

The Woods are haunted though not in a way that anyone on any side of the war imagines. The native people of Cleave have been wiped out when it became a battleground of the opposing forces. These people possessed some unique abilities: everyone could create mental projections into the minds of others; and their race developed an evolutionary quirk that bound them after death to the planet as its “spiritual defenders”. Thus, the entire planet is in effect “haunted” by its once living people. On this occasion, it’s a half dozen ghost kids, including an extroverted one named Izabel, who decided to scare away The Stalk.

Izabel isn’t entirely motivated by altruism. She knows from watching them during this brief time that they plan to escape Cleave and she proposes to help them if they take her off world with them. The only way to do that is if Izabel is bound to the soul of a native, and Hazel fills that requirement since she is newly born. Desperate and without any real choice, Alana agrees and Izabel keeps her word to help Alana heal Marko and to guide them to the rocket.

It’s the first of many adventures that Izabel has with the outlaw family. Izabel seems to have different roles. Sometimes she acts like a big sister or nanny while at other times she seems a bit parental or is the guardian to Hazel, which is also in her best interest since her ghostly existence is tied to Hazel.

Izabel may have died as a teenager but she often shows a wisdom beyond her years, especially when it comes to life and relationships. This is shown in a scene after witnessing an ugly fight between Alana and Marko. Izabel has some blunt words for Alana and shares that she dreams all the time about her former girlfriend Windy. Windy was “smart, gorgeous, and sweet”. The fact that she belonged to Cleave’s most judgmental religion caused Izabel to break off the relationship; a decision Izabel regrets doing because she was killed two days later when she stepped on a random landmine.

Izabel first appeared in Saga #2. Her past relationshop with a girl is revealed in issue #23. Created by Brian K Vaughn and Fiona Staples.

All rights reserved Brian K Vaughn and Fiona Staples

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