Tatsuya Endo has been working on one of the longest story arcs he’s done for Spy x Family. The story in question has been titled Red Circus Arc. The story arc has not only been one of the longest story arcs in Spy x Family’s history but also one of the darkest stories Endo has told in this series. The tension has been running high from the first chapter of the Red Circus Arc that started in Spy x Family Chapter 69. Now with Spy x Family Chapter 74, a surprising character has stepped up as reach the end of this story arc.
For those that have not been up to date with the latest developments in Spy x Family, the Red Circus Arc involves Anya and her Eden College classmates’ school bus being hijacked by a group of terrorists named the Red Circus. The Red Circus terrorist group first appeared in the second Extra Mission which was included in the third volume collection of Spy X Family.
As the class of first graders tried to figure out how to get out of this life-or-death situation Anya and Damian each try to step up. When they are caught by the Red Circus leader, Billy Squire, Anya and Damian are forced to wear a bomb, which Anya thanks to her psychic powers knows is fake, around their neck.
When the police and Ostania’s State Security Service (SSS) corner the bus Red Circus’ Billy uses the students as hostages to make two demands: to free the 17 Red Circus members in prison and for Red Circus to get safe passage to the country of Nortica. This request makes the entire situation tougher when the SSS Captain reveals to the police that the majority of the Red Circus members they arrested are dead.
During all this, we learn that the Red Circus was originally just a student group of anti-war protestors who advocated for peace and equality that the SSS tried to silence through various means. In an attempt to silence them, the SSS did various things including killing Billy’s daughter, who was part of the student protestors that formed the Red Circus. This in turn led the Red Circus to go from a group of student activists to terrorists made up of ex-military like Billy all because of SSS trying to squash all forms of protest in Ostania.
That all brings us to Spy x Family Chapter 74 where the SSS and Red Circus continue their standoff. Anya once again stands up to the Red Circus, knowing the bomb around her neck and Damian’s neck are fake. This time Anya reminds Billy of her daughter and causes him to surrender to the police. Hearing this, one of the other Red Circus gang members tries to run away with Anya as a hostage. That is when Martha Marriott, Becky Blackbell’s butler, acts quickly to take out the Red Circus member and save Anya.
Martha being the one to save Anya, rather than Loid or Yor as one would expect, is a development that is a payoff to subtle character work Endo has done during Spy x Family. Back in Spy x Family Chapter 59 when Becky came over to Anya’s house Loid immediately recognized how Martha carried herself like an ex-military official rather than a normal butler. Martha’s mysterious past was further teased when Henry Henderson, Eden College History teacher and Housemaster of Cecile Hall, and Marta spoke in a friendly manner when they met during the hostage situation in Spy x Family Chapter 72.
All of this makes Martha being given a big hero moment something that Endo was clearly building towards whenever Martha made an appearance in the manga during 2022 up until now. This makes sense since Becky’s dad, who is the CEO of a major military contract company Blackbell Heavy Industries, is an important figure in Ostania and he wouldn’t trust just anyone to be the personal family butler. The high pressure of the war setting and a state police organization like the SSS around the trust Becky’s father has in Martha also hinted at her having the type of skills she showed in Spy x Family Chapter 74.
With how Loid and Yor are given the ones we’ve come to expect to be the ones to save the day it is cool to see Endo develop other characters to have similar skills. While we shouldn’t expect Martha to be on Loid and Yor’s level it wouldn’t be surprising if in her prime that’s where she was at one point. This all certainly changes how we can view Martha’s future appearance as Loid especially may want to be more careful with how his approach to learning more about the Blackbell family in the future.
The payoff of this reveal hitting the way it does goes to show how fans should not overlook anything Loid in particular notes about different characters his family meets. It all goes to exemplify how Endo does make sure to carefully lay out hints he plans on paying off eventually that isn’t just for our leads in Anya, Loid, and Yor. All of that makes reading Spy x Family even more exciting to read when a new chapter comes out.