UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY #8
The companions have moved through the spiral to the second zone and find themselves face to face with someone that should by all the normal rules should be dead. What is this bleached new land, and is it really as picture-perfect as it appears....
Welcome to Unity. Snyder and Soule push forward the idea of massive contrast as we are introduced to the second zone with basically a guided tour by a character as well as narrative exposition by some of characters that the United States’ 13 zones are indeed time-fractured as we learn that the time, relative to the time in the world outside, in the previous zone Destiny and Unity are not the same. The contrast is further enhanced as the issue posits the idea via Dr. Sam Elgin existing in every zone even though we saw him die in Destiny.
We learn that this is a land where everything is unified and connected from the trees to the biomass of animals as well as its occupants and that everyone and everything is interconnected or wired as an extension of a mega computer, allowing thoughts to become physical actions. That assimilation is aggressive and one of the party is in fact attacked before by the land’s security system before Elgin calls it off. All seems very peaceful and civil once they reach the city. While several companions are left wondering what to make of it and others (the diplomats) try to work the new and completely different set of circumstances, it’s Major Daniel Graves who serves as the skeptic.
Several moments of note include this second Sam Elgin pointing out Major Graves is responsible for causing ” All the Trouble” in the previous zone, we also get more of a glimpse into the Graves’ history with their parents before the sealing and we are left with a sense of foreboding and menace that builds to a peak on the last page. The Graves children are also confronted with a shocking appearance but is it real or just an illusion?
There is still also the innovative use of well-established Americana and American history as part of the storyline which has been a constant hallmark of the series which I always find fascinating (see the Davey Crockett comment).
The art and coloring do a fantastic job of communicating the difference between Destiny and Unity. There’s a dream-like quality to the vastly technologically-advanced society of Unity City as Camuncoli and Grassi work their magic and integrate real world architecture and construct the city as an amalgam using several very familiar landmarks from the real world. The contrast is further emphasized by the complete change in the color palette. Gone are the deep reds and oranges of before. It’s now cool whites and blues with only a smattering of other primes. We have gone from a chaotic and mutated Wild West to a something far more orderly (seemingly) and yet the sense of menace persists.
There is a large number of additional data pages and Snyder and Soule actually go so far as to explain that the central premise is about a fractured America trying to heal itself told through fanciful storytelling, the parallels of which can be drawn against what’s happening in America now.
This issue introduces to a completely new environment and further down the rabbit hole with familiar faces and some new as the companions continue their journey to an end goal that may be the reunification of this fractured land but the how is still very much shrouded in mystery.
UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY #8: Picture-Perfect Unity…
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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