Undiscovered Country Volume 4 is the next part of the adventure horror/sci-fi series published by Image Comics, written by Charles Soule and Scott Snyder, layouts by Giuseppe Camuncoli, finishes by Leonardo Marcello Grassi, colors by Matt Wilson, and letters by Clayton Cowles. The group finds themselves separated within the newest zone, History, where the past and future of America are explored at the same time.
As with the previous stories of this adventure, the plot is epic and heavily thematic. Undiscovered Country has always intensely investigated what made America what it is, transforming it into a sci-fi dystopia. And in the arc titled ‘Disunity” looks even further at what led to the nation being born in the first place. But infused in that, Valentina and Charlotte are forced to die and be reborn in a different time period constantly. At the same time, Chang, Ace, and Janet have become part of a resistance movement. But that is only the start. The circumstances change constantly.
This is a volume-based around time, but with so much variety to that concept because this story is endlessly evolving. It can be difficult to keep track of, perhaps even taking several read-throughs to get to grips. But once the last part of the issue explains it, it becomes much clearer. It’s parallel plots that slowly converge. The past is an event in America’s long history of conflict. The future has possibilities of what could happen within the story of Undiscovered Country. Soule and Snyder blend both of these brilliantly. And even within the unbelievable chaos, a really sweet love story is forming.
The characters continue to shine in Undiscovered Country Volume 4. The party is split again, allowing more interpersonal relationships to progress. It isn’t just those that are together that create the tension, but those that are absent. The last part of the previous volume sparked a romance between Valentina and Ace and lingered heavily into the next. Both face their mortality a lot here and don’t see each other for most of the plot. They appear to miss each other and long for one another. This is sweet and the first connection in the Undiscovered Country series. Elsewhere, Chang and Janet are integral to this story, but imaginatively and intelligently. The friendship between Charlotte and Val is solidifying, and they are a formidable, powerful force. There are reunions with characters left behind at the beginning of the comic and a boss of the arc that is larger than life and extremely fun.
It should be noted that Marcus does not appear much in this volume, although he is in the Destiny Man Special at the beginning. Even then, that issue is more focused on the antagonist of the series, who was revealed to be Marcus and Charlotte’s younger brother. The special is an excellent character study and shows the magnificent world-building at play in this series.
The art is exceptional. This zone and this arc are perfect materials for Camuncoli and Grassi to craft something unique. The madness of the character designs will always be phenomenal, with size, body modifications, and technology dominating pages. And they are within a beautiful world. This volume has multiple locations and settings, always bringing something different. It jumps from communities in the past to bustling cities in the present or future. I loved the glimpses of history and the atmosphere generated in each one. The action in this comic is subtle. There aren’t high-octane fights but incredibly suspenseful showdowns and shocking singular moments of violence.
The colors are also terrific. Wilson repeatedly has to change the comic’s color palette as the eras in the time change. In the past, the torchlight illuminates the darkness, while the bright screens are dazzling in a version of Times Square. And when the sky has the sunrise poking through, it is stunning. The lettering is fantastic, with some dynamic increases in boldness and font size.
Undiscovered Country Volume 4 is a superb adventure through time. Soule and Snyder brilliantly explore so many possible stories that this comic could follow all within a singular volume. It shows how far this world has come and that it can have alternate avenues and endings. All of the characters are still as fascinating and engaging as they were when they were introduced, perhaps even more so now they are forming attachments with one another. It creates danger and means heartbreak is possible. And the art has only escalated in quality when it was phenomenal from the beginning.
Undiscovered Country Volume 4 is available now wherever comics are sold.
Undiscovered Country Volume 4
Undiscovered Country Volume 4 is a superb adventure through time. Soule and Snyder brilliantly explore so many possible stories that this comic could follow all within a singular volume.
William is a screenwriter with a love of comics and movies. Once referred to Wuthering Heights as “the one with the Rabbits.”