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‘Undiscovered Country #18:’ Comic Book Review

It seems we’ve about reached the halfway point in what was originally envisioned for this series by its creator, and with that milestone, we’ve also reached the end of the current “Possibilty” arc. For a series as wild as this one, this arc was the wildest of them all. It brought American culture – and the ideal of the American Dream – to the forefront, the idea of creating great works that will leave their mark throughout all of history and creating a lasting legacy. This issue was packed with set-ups and payoffs, allowing for a satisfying ending to the arc and several major question marks that will leave us wondering until the series’ return in a few months.

This series is one of unbridled creativity, and this arc really shows that off. There’s a literally endless sea of ideas in this zone, with those within it searching so desperately for stories to keep them alive. From Moby Dick to the legacy of the nation’s first president, there were references and cameos galore, wrapping around this zone’s insatiable need for content and creation. Intentional or not, this arc spoke to something about the current state of America’s media consumption, where new is best and everything else is lost to the endless waves of what comes after.

That’s what this book does such a great job of: speaking to the real America, the flawed country of people who all have their issues and needs. Fear, need, and desperation are all on full display. From the nightmarish landscapes of Zone Destiny to the endless oceans of Possibility, each arc has really shone a light on the idiosyncrasies of American life. Even the concept itself of a divided and walled-off nation is a reflection of sorts of how America currently feels, just made real. It’s one of the biggest draws of Undiscovered Country and what keeps me coming back to the series.

Snyder and Soule are brilliant in this regard, building this complicated world that has so many ties to what feels like reality. Not all of it was likely intended, but it feels almost predictive in a sense, with a destructive virus, a world fractured in so many ways, and so few feeling like they have the means and abilities to stop it. It’s a series that strikes a deep chord with me as an American, with so many aspects of the book hitting home in significant ways.

It wouldn’t hit quite as hard, though, without the work of artist and co-creator Giuseppe Camuncoli, who – paired with Leonardo Marcello Grassi, Matt Wilson and Crank! – provide a visual experience that is a sight to behold. This issue especially has some impressive visual moments, and this world would not be quite so uniquely surreal without their incredible talents.

With the book going on a short break for the next several months, it’s going to be quite interesting to see how many more themes seem to bring themselves out of the pages and into the real world. Or how many events will have analogs within the pages of Undiscovered Country. It’s a series that is deeply unsettling, incredibly real, and also a wildly fantastical ride all at once, and the comics world is much better for its existence.

Creative Team: Charles Soule and Scott Snyder (writers), Giuseppe Camuncoli, Leonardo Marcello Grassi, Matt Wilson, Crank! (artists)
Publisher: Image Comics
Click here to purchase.

Russ Pirozek, Fanbase Press Contributor



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