Saga #42 is a chapter I delayed talking about because it felt like a punch in the esophagus. I couldn’t breathe properly after finishing it. I’m still not sure I’m fully recovered.
It was Aristotle who said we make war that we may live in peace. In the end, battlefields are cleared, the dead and wounded are counted, the cities are rebuilt and the lesson we draw from such an unfortunate experience is that of fighting for the cause of peace. Yet Saga #42 closes the seventh story arc with a heavy, convoluted silence and no guarantee of peacefulness whatsoever.
Missed our review of Saga #41? Read it here.
This week we’ve met Vaughan’s merciless and painful blow. And it’s not that we weren’t expecting it, that we weren’t aware of the outcomes of a war the size of The War of Phang. Whether it had previously served only as the backdrop for a contemplation of the characters’ interplay and feelings, issue #42 was a raw, unforeseen way to bring our attention back to the big picture. Everyone you love in Saga will be impacted by the fallout of this issue. We as readers are also hopeless.
Saga #42 Artwork
Much of the magic in this chapter can be attributed to the combination of Hazel’s pensive narration and Fiona Staples’s delivery of lingering peril, which outmaneuvers probably any drawing task she has been assigned with before and she still excels at it.
The way she gradually surrounds the narrative with a poetic wave of blackness, the way she calmly escorts us through fear and dismay towards the resolution, as if there could be any hope for us at the end of the crawlway is comforting, and I’d risk saying, bordering on the maternal.
“Because they’re gonna need”, I bet she thought.
Because by the time she leaves us alone to walk our path in total darkness for eight pages, she knew we’d be wishing to be crawling back into our mothers’ wombs.
In conclusion, Saga #42 is an ingenious and also terribly sad must-read I’m afraid, and it stays at the back of your mind, a reason why the two-month hiatus is welcome right now.
To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook.
Check out other comic book news, previews and reviews here!