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BenderBot

IGN: Saga #42 Review

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BenderBot

Just because you know a punch is coming doesn't make it hurt any less. Issue #42 brings "The War for Phang" to a close, and in a finale heavy even for Saga, Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples drop the emotional equivalent of an anvil atop the heads of their characters and readers. It's as riveting as it is achingly sad, and proves yet again that there's no such thing as a down arc for this series.

With 40 plus issues under their belts, it wouldn't be that crazy (though maybe a little bit) to expect a dip in quality from this absurdly consistent creative team. And while that's not what happens here, "The War for Phang" does feel different when compared to the majority of arcs that have come before. For one, the book's momentum remains surprisingly sedentary throughout. So much of the series has revolved around the chase, either from danger or towards it, making the arc's somewhat isolated setup feel unnervingly static. If you've read our past reviews you know that Vaughan has taken full use of that seeming lull, peppering his usual shocking ends and abrupt declarations with a subtle and thorough examination of character. At times this slow burn approach could be maddening -- for all the many moving parts, it was rare they seemed to move closer -- yet there was always the sense that Vaughan was building towards something bigger.

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