Empire of Black

One of the most astonishing layouts I’ve seen in a graphic novel occurs near the end of “Doomsday Clock” by Geoff Johns, Gary Frank, and Brad Anderson. The climactic battle results in a full page of darkness followed by nine black panels. It’s a moment that gave me space to breathe but also left me feeling out of breath. It felt immense. It made me feel small the way witnessing the ocean reduces my scale while expanding the world.

The best poetry does this for me (and to me) as well. It gives me this sense of eternity, takes away my perception of time, then it divides the dark into dark and hands it back. It gives me the passage of time again, in moments, in panels, when I briefly forgot it.


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