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Upsher & Doff

Upsher and Doff are two journalists who work for the tabloid paper Hebdomadal. They are natives of the planet Jetsam which is aligned with the Coalition forces in the sprawling war involving Landfall and Wreath in Saga, from Brian K Vaughn and Fiona Staples. While interviewing a wounded soldier recovering in a hospital, the pair hear about a story of an escaped Wreath prisoner of war who took his guard hostage to effect an escape. The prisoner and guard being Marko and Alana, the main characters in Saga. Sensing a huge opportunity for fame and money, the pair continue to ask questions of the soldier, who is finally relieved someone believes him enough not to think he’s crazy. They’re soon on the trail, first interviewing Alana’s family before clues lead them to a high ranking Coalition Secret Intelligence Officer named Gale. Sensing the two reporters are close to knowing too much, Gale feeds them a convincing cover story and then threatens to out them publicly, which would ruin them on Jetsam whose culture is very unaccepting. Wanting to guarantee their absolute silence, Gale hires a freelancer named The Brand to poison them with the Embargon potion, a substance that ensures cooperation upon pain of death.

And so for a couple years they resign themselves to covering nothing more than the average feature that appeals to tabloid readers until they learn of the freelancer’s unexpected death which fulfills the only condition to release them of the Embargon’s influence. Upsher persuades their editor to give them some time to investigate the story. Unknown to Doff, Upsher has been working on finding clues to the story this entire time and soon they’re off to track down Marko even as Doff tries to make Upsher justify exposing Alana and Marko. Doff also shows empathy toward them, especially their child Hazel, whereas Upsher is pragmatic, perhaps even a bit opportunistic. Still, Doff believes Upsher has the heart to tell a story as big as this one will be.

Tracking a lead takes them on an adventure to the remote world Outcome, where they are put to their biggest challenge yet when the cross paths with The Will, who, Unknown to them, the brother of the Brand who injected them with Embargon. Despite being wounded by The Will, Doff rises up to bolster Upsher’s flagging spirit to keep them both going in spite of the adversity and seeming hopelessness.

Upsher, the taller of the two, and Doff first appeared in Saga #13. Their sexuality is revealed in issue #16 and how they met and became a couple remains unknown.

Created by Brian K Vaughn and Fiona Staples. Art by Staples from Saga #13. Saga published by Image.

All rights reserved Brian K Vaughn and Fiona Staples

September 29, 2021
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