UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY #4:
The party finds themselves at the mercy of the Destiny Man and while the strange creature and Major Graves move forward with their plans to reach and access the mysterious Spiral we learn the history of journalist Valentina Sandoval and the secrets she is carrying about the mission as well as her fellow companions...
Snyder and Soule stick with the formula of previous issues by splitting the narrative between past and present and it continues to work well advancing the story by intertwining the two.
In the present Major Graves and The Destiny Man continue with their agreement which will see the Destiny Man gain access to the mysterious route known as the Spiral while in the past we are shown how hard-nosed and intrepid journalist Valentina Sandovals journey to their current point in time. Along the way, we are treated to several revelations including a fairly devastating one about one of her fellow companions as well as their mission that Valentina has to uncover all of which raises even more questions as to the nature of why they as individuals were all chosen for the mission.
I like to think I am pretty good at figuring out the plotting of comics I read yet Undiscovered Country continues to defy my attempts to classify it or even have an inkling about what the end game is. Snyder and Soule are creating a yarn that mixes so many different elements from strong human drama to gonzo sci-fi elements like mutation and time travel and yet it’s not hard sci-fi.
The Destiny Man’s monologues and actions read like twisted quasi-religious prophecy which has the feel of the classic biblical apocalyptic confrontation trope stories but instead of it simply being based on the traditional biblical heaven versus hell trope Snyder and Soule have instead wrapped it up in classic historical American values that are embedded deep in the American psyche to this day. It’s a fascinating and fresh take to this kind of story that is further accentuated by the incorporation of American historical elements made physically manifest in the story as seen with elements like the “Key” that is required to open this mysterious Spiral. The Destiny Man even echoes Lucifers fall from heaven with his tale of having been cast out of the mysterious Aurora and his need to return…
The rest of the issue sees some action for our party as well as sets things on a crash course between the Destiny Man and Sam Elgin with our main characters caught right up in the middle.
The art on this series has been stellar and this issue is my favorite to date so far. Camuncoli’s angular detailed art style is tempered by the finishing of Orlandini and the addition of Grassi has added a smoothing element to the art on the page which I find makes it easier on the eye. Matt Wilsons colors walk a neat line between the realistic where required and the more evocative and ethereal as his use of purples, pinks, and oranges serve to add an atmosphere akin to the feeling of staring at one of those old west sunset paintings. It’s a clever element and adds another layer to an already deeply layered story.
Undiscovered Country 4 continues to defy classification while using strong character writing combined with smart and clever use of traditional American mythos to lead us on a fantastic journey through a story that is mysterious but thoroughly engaging in a fresh and exciting way!
UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY #4: Secrets, Agenda’s and Bargains
Writing - 10/10
Storyline - 10/10
Art - 9/10
Color - 9/10
Cover Art - 9/10
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