Undiscovered Country #20 is published by Image Comics, written by Charles Soule and Scott Snyder, art by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Leonardo Marcelo Grassi, colors by Matt Wilson, and letters by Crank! The team have been split up inside another zone of the Spiral. Charlotte and Valentina found themselves in a cycle of death and rebirth, meeting Paul Revere. At the same time, Chang and Janet were identified as public enemies number #1 in the middle of a victory day parade. In this issue, the team discovers a new zone: History.
The zone that has become the focal point of this arc is strange due to being split in concept. The theme is history, but Soule and Snyder have created a place that contains both the past and the future at the same time. This makes the locations the heroes are in completely different, with specific missions of their own. In the place that seems to mimic the American Revolution comes the exposition of the new zone, as is customary in the second issue of every arc. Every situation is unique, making the story feel constantly evolving and fascinating to discover. Chang, Ace, and Janet are in the middle of a mob, and this side of the book is much more frantic, creating a fluctuating pace throughout the comic. It is intense and explosive and violent, but there is also a mystery created that blew my mind. Different time periods being available in this next arc make the possibilities incredibly exciting, merging Undiscovered Country with Timeless or Doctor Who. Where the last arc explored American stories and creativity, Disunity seeks to explore what is fact and fiction within the country’s own history.
The party has been split in Undiscovered Country #20, forcing some characters to stand on their own two feet. Charlotte and Valentina are on their own and have been given a monumental task and they are brilliant choices for it. They are both investigative in nature, with Charlotte being a journalist and Valentina, a scientist. In another part of the zone, the diplomatic Change and Janet appear to be the arc’s focus. The dialogue can be long-winded in the exposition-heavy issues, but the story is so huge that it is necessary.
The art is both frightening and beautiful. There are parts of the book that are picturesque as new landscapes are revealed, especially as moments of history are simulated by Camuncoli and Grassi. But some of the characters are twisted in their design, looking intentionally unnatural. Their designs are amazing, and that impossible detail that has become synonymous with this series brings the period costumes to life. Some characters, especially Sam, have intense eyes surrounded by shadows that make them look horrified. The fighting creates painful, gruesome injuries that help depict impact; when Change transforms, it is both haunting and awesome, twisting and contorting his body as tendrils and spikes elongate from him. The juxtaposition in this book is fantastic. What Charlotte and Valentina encounter is relatively normal regarding looks, while the other three find the unnatural Destiny Man without his armor.
The colors are interesting as it is dark and gloomy for most of the book. Within Sam’s house in History, it is layered with greys and browns, almost matching the lens through which we might view the past. But this is also the case in the future apart from the bright light illuminated by the Times Square screens. There is more variety in the shades as people wear individual clothes. The general darkness of the book may hint at the mood the characters are feeling at the moment. But it also means that when a panel lights up, we pay attention. The lettering remains fantastically easy to read.
Undiscovered Country #20 is a brilliant foray into History. The comic’s use of hard sci-fi and dystopia to investigate themes that are prevalent now is remarkable. With every new arc comes a complete shift in what to expect, like unique stories in their own right. The story remains investing so many issues in, and the art is still breathtaking. What’s connecting these different threads are the characters rife with fire and personality and the country that is being dissected. It is fascinating that this issue tells the tale of this alternate future using the past.
Undiscovered Country #20 is available now wherever comics are sold.
Undiscovered Country #20
Undiscovered Country #20 is a brilliant foray into History. The comic’s use of hard sci-fi and dystopia to investigate themes that are prevalent now is remarkable. With every new arc comes a complete shift in what to expect, like unique stories in their own right.