Character Type: Secondary
Summary: Upsher is a gay, intergalactic journalist who works alongside his partner Doff in the critically-acclaimed comic book Saga. After several years of detective work, Doff and Upsher manage to track down Marko, Alana, Hazel, Petrichor and Prince Robot and eventually become allies to the family of refugees.
Database Links: Saga Wiki
Important Issues: Upsher is revealed to be in a relationship with Doff in Saga #17.
LGBTQ characters make up for 33% of Saga's dead, which is fairly consistent with queer representation in the comic. By the numbers, it's clear that the bury your gays trope isn't really a factor here. I think the reason people are being consistently surprised by the death of queer characters is simply because Saga has a way higher than average number of queer characters. Saga is a comic that's normalized queerness in its characters to the point where it's tough to kill anyone outside the central family without killing someone queer. (Read more)
u/Whataccoolguy, "A look at Saga's characters, queerness, and death [SPOILERS], r/SAGAcomic (reddit), July 4, 2018.
There is an explicit sex scene between Upsher and Doff. Like with the nudity of the trans woman Petrichor from #31, this scene is not meant to fetishize the characters but affirm their identity despite opposition. Upsher and Doff’s strongest resistance is to, even in secret, love themselves and each other. It’s a very powerful theme that can even relate back to Alana and Marko, two heterosexual characters that continue to love each other despite superpowers that want them apart. (Read more)
Ben Howard, "Gay love and investigative journalism in Saga #33," PopOptiq, January 29, 2016.
[A]as the political sphere grows ever more toxic with ascendant nativism and other displays of prejudice, Saga stands out as a profane, glorious ode to compassion and equality. But Saga also makes visible individuals whom Hollywood has historically ignored or erased on the flawed grounds that stories about queer characters or people of color aren’t broadly marketable... The claim, meanwhile, that Saga is opposed to family misunderstands it completely... Amid its characters’ imperfection and even dysfunction, Saga always returns to heartwarming themes: finding and building family, and earning redemption through forgiveness and love. As the narrator reminds readers, “If a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, then a family is more like a ROPE. We’re lots of fragile little strands, and we survive by becoming hopelessly intertwined with each other.” (Read more)
Shaan Amin, "The sprawling, empathetic adventure of Saga," The Atlantic, March 28, 2018.