REVIEW: “Undiscovered Country,” Issue #10

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Undiscovered Country #10

Undiscovered Country #10 is a dystopian adventure comic published by Image. Written by Charles Soule and Scott Snyder, with the art by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Leonardo Marcello Grassi. The colour artist is Matt Wilson and the letterer is Crank!

The last issue saw the Graves come to terms with the holographic visions of their parents, complete with their emotions and memories. The team is still in Unity, the technological utopia, which seems much safer than the rest of the territories around them. Ace has been given a small amount of power within this region, being granted the ability to manipulate the material that has formed this entire state. He and Valentina have ventured across a large body of water on the edge of the territory. But what none of our heroes were aware of was that the Destiny Man was in Unity and about to wreak havoc.

In the tenth issue of the series, the forces of the Destiny Man start their assault, and the readers see what happens when the people of Unity are forced to defend themselves, and the clue really is the name. The attacks spread throughout the region, even to the open water where Ace and Valentina are traveling. Ace is determined to keep exploring despite the danger, with no idea what awaits them across the water.

The pace of the plot has increased to a frantic speed as the battles and actions start. The fight starts early in the issue, instantly sucking us into the chaos. Both factions have changed dramatically through the decades, and the conflict between them is very enthralling to watch. 

The heart-pounding action stretches over to Ace and Valentina as they must make their way through the middle of a showdown between the aquatic creatures created by both forces. Unity has created gigantic sperm whales while the Destiny Man counters with these brutal and fierce sharks. 

The battle between the two is a showcase of the powerful effects the representatives of each territory have on the reader. There is a slow, building creepiness to Unity. The perfection and uniformity is unsettling. But everything from Destiny is intense and harsh and severe, always unpredictable in what you see next.

Soule and Snyder splitting the party is an effective method of setting up future issues while also focusing on the fight. The main bulk of the group ally themselves with the Unity army to repel the dark forces, and they have started to settle in this region and its values. In contrast, Ace and Valentina are on a quest for discovery. And what they do discover was very unexpected, and will have huge consequences in upcoming issues.

The characters are fantastic as always. In Undiscovered Country #10, Marcus is yet again in his element. As a soldier, he is given a weapon and instantly shows his warrior side. It is not a part of him that is often revealed, but it is moments like these that make him a brilliant action hero. Chang is also given a moment to shine in this issue as he joins the battle. Although, the reason he joins is not entirely of his own doing. But he has a piece of dialogue in the final part of the comic that feels like a very distinctive moment for him. 

The other character that shines during this issue is Dr. Jain, the ruler of Unity. Through both flashbacks of the foundation of Unity and her actions in the battle, the readers get more insight into how devoted to the territory she is. She is a powerhouse when it comes to repelling the Destiny Man’s forces, but it is very evident how far from human she has become.

Camuncoli and Grassi are brilliant at laying out the battle and the soldiers fighting in it. The fights are chaotic in what happens within them, but the reader never gets lost or confused as to what is happening. The two sets of combatants in the ground offensive are remarkably different in their design. The people of Unity have become armoured soldiers with neatly drawn lines and details. 

Opposing them are the creatures that the Destiny Man has just constructed himself. They look like a cross between the Alien and the Terminators, something Camuncoli alludes to in his design notes at the rear of the book. They are these solid-black beings, devoid of intricate details. The style that the artists draw them in results in them looking unnatural in this region, as if they have been drawn for a different comic.

The marine biology that menace Ace and Valentina mirror these features. The sperm whale is gigantic and radiates power. It looks mechanical in its design, donned with the same markings on its skin as everything else that is made from that material. The sharks are entirely black shapes that twist and bend in the air as they attack. The design of the Destiny Man’s units is awesome because it insinuates that he has hastily created them without any consideration of what they will look like.

Wilson is again exceptional on colours. Undiscovered Country #10 actually is a case of black and white. With everything inside Unity being different shades of white, the emergence of the shadowy monsters stands out against everything else. Even the red eyes that the Destiny creatures possess appear to be less vibrant than anything that has come from the enemy territory. The only thing that isn’t black or white is the lovely pink in the sky.

Crank!’s letters are easy to read and his sound effects add to the intensity of the action. There are a lot of them but they never feel out of place or in the way.

Undiscovered Country #10 contains a bit of everything that makes this series phenomenal. There are our protagonists, all brimming with personality and depth. They are constantly interacting with these odd but brilliant characters, each one unique in how they are going to freak me out. There are ruthless and inventive action set pieces. And even more mystery and twists. This may have only been one issue, but it felt like ten. 

Undiscovered Country #10 is available where comics are sold.

Undiscovered Country #10
5

TL;DR

Undiscovered Country #10 contains a bit of everything that makes this series phenomenal. There are our protagonists, all brimming with personality and depth. They are constantly interacting with these odd but brilliant characters, each one unique in how they are going to freak me out. There are ruthless and inventive action set pieces. And even more mystery and twists. This may have only been one issue, but it felt like ten.