‘Undiscovered Country #1:’ Advance Comic Book Review

I came upon this series' release in an unusual way: during a strange saga on comic book artist Ryan Stegman's podcast, Steg-Man and Friends. On the show, Stegman speaks with his friends in the industry, but an odd and hilarious drama began to unfold as real-life lawyer Charles Soule was a guest on the show, which eventually devolved into Soule taking over the show for a week himself. (Please listen; it's bizarre and wonderful.) He had Scott Snyder on as a guest to talk about this series and its impending release.

With creator-owned comics, stories form in many ways. For creators Scott Snyder and Charles Soule, it forms as the two began running together at comic book conventions. Their unlikely connection over the hobby launched a deep friendship and created a bond that helped two creators known for their work for the Big Two create something wholly original for themselves. This is what lead to Undiscovered Country, combining the completely possible with the thankfully very implausible as we follow a group of explorers into the information black hole that has become the United States of America.

To be frank, this series' concept terrifies me, mostly because it's something that could be real. According to Soule and Snyder, the concept is something that has been floated by military intelligence. It takes an alternate look at the way the world has unfolded; the U.S. began to isolate itself from the world so much that they eventually built a wall around the borders of the nation, becoming an insular society that has both devolved and evolved in unusual ways. From unique flora and fauna to strange animals, this new nation is something both far fetched and somehow plausible. This series, in one issue of world-building, has managed to immediately sink its hooks into readers simply by showing what it is.

For Snyder and Soule, their love of history and the evolution of society brought them to this concept, and so far, they've shown how deep this rabbit hole goes with just a few glimpses. Different zones give various styles to parts of this United States, with each one becoming an entity unto itself. It's obvious they've put a lot of work into bringing this to life.

That's not to say they've done this alone. Both writers have given much credit to co-creator and artist Giuseppe Camuncoli, an A-list artist in the field and one of the most creative visual professionals in comics. His design work has been described as being essential to this process and making this comic book a reality, and it shows. This is a project borne of creativity and collaboration, and Camuncoli has shown immense skill in bringing it all together with the joining members of this art team: Daniele Orlandini, Matt Wilson, and Crank.

I've spent most of this review piling on the compliments without giving much context, but that's been intentional. Undiscovered Country is something that needs to be read to be believed, a unique and under-explored concept about how the world would react to a super power suddenly disappearing from a shared global space, and what that could do to the country and the world as a whole. This team has barely begun to scratch the surface of this story, and I'm both excited and scared of what is to come in later issues.


Creative Team: Charles Soule, Scott Snyder (writers), Giuseppe Camuncoli (artist), Daniele Orlandini (inks), Matt Wilson (colors), Crank! (letters)
Publisher: Image Comics
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