UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY #1
Writers: Charles Soule & Scott Snyder
Artists: Giuseppe Camuncoli & Daniele Orlandini
Colorist: Matt Wilson
Publisher: Image Comics
Rating: 10/10 mutant walruses roaming the Great American Plains
In the near future, America has walled itself off from the rest of the world. Outside US borders, the world is sick and dying with just months to live. Within the pages of Image Comics’ Undiscovered Country, we’re introduced to a team flying on a landmark diplomatic mission to US in desperate hopes of finding a way to save the world.
I was holding my breath in anticipation for Undiscovered Country. The wait was worth it in every sense. When I read it, it felt like a breath of fresh air. It’s a creative, political, relevant, high-concept debut that’ll have on the edge of your seat waiting for more. If you like political stories, sci-fi, road trips and non-linear storytelling, Undiscovered Country is what you’re looking for.
Having Charles Soule and Scott Snyder as co-writers on this book was enough to sell me. *Then* they added Giuseppe Camuncoli. When I went through my binge of the past decade of Amazing Spider-Man, Camuncoli’s art grabbed my attention. He has this uniquely sharp, kinetic style that tosses you in the middle of the action. When a helicopter falls from the sky, you feel gravity shift. When a cow bites off a pilot’s legs, you feel the crunching of bones and splashing of blood. When robed figures riding on mutants chase our main characters through canyons, you’ll feel the urgency. Camuncoli’s art is pleasing to the eyes and demands your attention. Of course, Matt Wilson’s colors are splashed on to make everything look better.
One of the key ideas Undiscovered Country explores is isolationism and the negative impacts it can have on the world. The risky journey into US borders becomes necessary when a sky virus threatens to kill everyone outside America. In the book, our characters are given a transmission that promises a cure to the virus. Without it, everyone in the world will die in six months. It’s high stakes and explores what would happen should America shut off its borders from the world.
Okay so let’s get into the crazy shit. When I got to the halfway point and saw the two page spread (you’ll know when you see it), I said “what the fuck?!” out loud. An accident causes our diplomats to crash in an unknown location in the US. You flip the page and get blindsided by Tusken Raider/Mad Max looking figures riding around the American Plains on RVs or mutant walruses and piranhas. This book jumps from futuristic espionage/political thriller to full on mutated sci-fi story with monsters in the vein of American road trip. It’s unfamiliar but familiar in a weird way.
The beauty of this book is it’s dense, alive, filled with story potential that could keep us reading years into the future. Each creator here is at the top of their game, firing on all cylinders. This book is going to be BIG. The first issue has already had a successful debut for Image. According to Charles Soules, Undiscovered Country is being optioned for a movie by New Republic Pictures.
Undiscovered Country is going to be a hell of a trip. The first issue proves that this isn’t a safe book. Its’s just a small taste of the creative insanity to come. It’ll take risks and subvert your expectations, re-imagining the US in a new way. You get foreign policy, espionage and science fiction in a concoction of pure chemistry on paper. I’m eager to see where the next issue takes us.