Journey Into Undiscovered Country With A Flawed But Entertaining Debut

by Brendan M. Allen

Scott Snyder and Charles Soule team up with artists Giuseppe Camuncoli and Daniele Orlandini and 2019 Eisner Award-winning colorist Matt Wilson to embark on an epic adventure in the brand-new ongoing series, Undiscovered Country!

In this special oversized first issue, readers will journey into the near future, and an unknown nation that was once the United States of America—a land that’s become shrouded in mystery after walling itself off from the rest of the world without explanation over thirty years ago. When a team seeking a cure for a global pandemic breaches U.S. borders, they quickly find themselves in a struggle to survive this strange and deadly lost continent!

In Undiscovered Country #1, it’s been three decades since the former United States of America completely cut itself off from the rest of the planet. While the outside world endured global war, famine and pestilence, the US closed its borders and cut off all communication. Until now. A message is received inviting (luring) emissaries from the two major global governments onto US soil with a promise to cure to the mysterious Sky Virus that is plaguing the rest of the world. Nothing suspicious there, at all, right?

I really, really wanted to love this book. I’m having a hard time reconciling that I didn’t. It’s not that any one thing is bad, it just didn’t really flow all that well for me. The script felt a little disjointed in places. There are spots that are clearly Scott Snyder, and other places that are obviously Charles Soule, and there’s a whole lot of expository dialogue that doesn’t even really need to be in this series opener. So much of this information could have been teased out over the coming chapters. 

Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Daniele Orlandini, and Matt Wilson is striking. Character designs are interesting, distinct, and memorable. Emotions are easy to read through expression and ambulation, and there’s a clear disconnect between the visual signatures of the US and the outside world. Despite the limitations of trying to fit some art between massive amounts of dialogue (I count 454 words in 30 word balloons on one two page spread), and some of the stranger elements in the script, the art team is firing on all cylinders.

The concept of Undiscovered Country is strong. It just feels like the team tried to take on too much in this opener, even given the extra pages. This thing should have hit several of my favorite niches, but the pacing is all over the place, and I found it hard to follow. Hopefully, it evens out in the second chapter.

Undiscovered Country #1, Image Comics, released 06 November 2019. Written by Scott Snyder and Charles Soule, art/cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Daniele Orlandini, color by Matt Wilson, letters by Crank!, edited by Will Dennis, logo by Mauro Corradini, production and design by Ryan Brewer.

Brendan M. Allen

Brendan Allen has probably had more jobs than you would reasonably believe. Dog trainer? He’s done it. Flooring contractor? You bet! EMT? Army NBC specialist? Road dog for a Celtic rock band? Yes, yes, and och aye! Now he reads comics and writes about them. It's a rough gig. You can follow Brendan on Twitter @SaintAmish where he mostly tweets about comic books and cystic fibrosis awareness.

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