Saga #42's Black Pages Were There To Mop Up The Tears

Yesterday saw the release of Saga #42 by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples from Image Comics. Was this the answer to life, the universe and everything?

I really hope not. Cos it was a toughie.

It also worked far better in print than in digital. By stint of doing the kind of thing that comic books do so well, using the actual act of turning a page to generate emotion.

Because in this issue there was death. Of characters old, new, unseen. And then, as the comic book concluded with a full black page with one caption, the page is turned. To a double page spread of black. And again. And again. And the back cover, also black, with only the UPC box to break the darkness. Eight pages of black, one after the other, hammering home the finality of the death we've just witnessed. And no light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how many pages you turn, your act of lifting the page making you complicit in the hopelessness of the action.

And the end of the issue. Of the arc. And no new Saga until at least May.

The reaction was, in retrospect, expected.

About Rich Johnston

Head writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world. Living in London, father of two. Political cartoonist.

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