UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY #6
We return to the Undiscovered Country of an America greatly changed since it walled itself off from the rest of the world 30 years ago. It's an action-packed race to enter and walk the mysterious Spiral with the creature called the Destiny Man in hot pursuit. Will the companions make it or is it their fate to die in the savage zone known as DESTINY?
After a long break, we return to this strange land and it doesn’t disappoint. Before we get into the content itself it’s worth mentioning that the construction of the issue is superbly done. Starting off smartly off with a written recap to remind everyone of what has come before which helps place all the characters for those who may have forgotten. It then leaps directly into the story and for the first time in six issues, the focus remains completely in the now as no more character flashbacks are used and the story moves back and forth between several viewpoints in a breakneck race between the characters to get to the gate of the Spiral.
I have mentioned the use of American iconography and symbols before in previous reviews and this issue doesn’t let up. It’s everywhere as both Soule and Snyder incorporate the words of things like the Star-Spangled Banner into the dialogue, its in the art and coloring with riding creatures shaped like Stars from the American Flag that are blue on one side and red on the other. This use of this iconography is fascinating and original and adds levels to what is already a fascinating sci-fi romp.
There is very much a subtextual commentary to be read too as seen with Pavel (a war hero) decides, having freed himself of being a prisoner on the “wall”, to free other prisoners who are tethered to this “wall” and really while the connection to real-world events is certainly pretty obvious it’s well written and drawn enough to make you notice but not get hung up on as the story races onward. That’s really what fascinates me about this issue and the series as a whole. There is so much going on at face value as well as on a symbolic and subtextual level that it makes reading each page an absolute journey in and of itself. But what makes it work is that all the elements used are fleshed out so well and executed on point that there really is nothing to look askance at as the story pulls you along. Everything from the pacing to the human interactions to the smaller subplots is kept in mind and is so well fleshed out that nothing feels frivolous.
The art is exceptionally strong this issue. Dynamic and full of movement to communicate the frenetic rush of what is happening on the page combined again with that symbolism in the coloring from Matt Wilson as there is a heavy emphasis on red and blue with bright orange thrown in early on communicating the hectic pace the issue has for close on 26 pages of violence, action, and movement only returning to the paler greens, blues and yellow hues as the companions find themselves in a momentary lull which is counterbalanced by superb character writing, strong natural body language and facial expressions and interactions of the characters that ultimately define the path they choose to pursue.
Between Camuncolli and Marcello Grassi, the technical geometric art of machinery like the shuttle and trains is with perfect lines and so is the more fluid art of the strange creatures in the book. Again iconography abounds but it’s twisted to suit this psychedelic landscape we find ourselves in. It’s reminiscent of an acid trip into a science fiction wild west at times which is the only way I know how to frame it with peaks and valleys within the psychedelia and I am really loving the trip.
There’s once again more history details after the comic concludes on a fabulously ominous note and some really insightful authors notes from Soule and Snyder which are well worth a read.
Undiscovered Country #6 is a superb action-filled next installment in a story that speaks very much to the world today but at the same time is so well crafted that it never gets hung up on the cleverness of the symbols and iconography it references at the cost of the story or pacing. Beautifully crafted in word and image, it's an almost flawless next chapter in this strange land that the creative team is building.
UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY #6: And The Rockets Red Glare…
Writing - 10/1010/10
Storyline - 10/1010/10
Art - 10/1010/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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