Advance Review: ‘Undiscovered Country’ #10 Is One Issue Of Exposition Too Many

All comic book have to take a breather from the action. To catch the rear up and to survey the land. But, sometimes it can get too much. For me this week’s Undiscovered Country #10 has reached one such point. Even though it feels like there’s a lot of action – and there is – it just felt like one issue too many of exposition and backstory, explaining to the readers what has become of America. For the tenth time if you include this new issue! Alright, already, I get it!

Although, it does have its moments – brief though they are – but for me those moments are received for the first few pages and a sequence from 17 years previously. A meeting of delegates from the various zones America divided itself into after “The Sealing”. A hint of the zones yet to come in this journey through an America that as both unfamiliar and familiar as writers Charles Soule and Scott Snyder continue to use the backdrop of a future America as a canvas upon which to explore socio-political issues of the day. Clearly the whole premise of America sealing itself off from the outside world echoes the outgoing President’s own 4 year narrow-minded isolationist policies and “America First!’ rhetoric. And, after January 2020 maybe somewhat of a moribund theme to continue to explore? That’s the problem with satire; it can go past its sell by date very quickly.

Intriguing opening

We learn more about the techno-paradise that is Unity and, yes, you guessed it; things aren’t as perfect as they oddly seem and peace is soon shattered by an invasion of various beings and creators that have more than a passing connection with the Destiny Man. As readers, we may have forgotten that he’s on our travellers’ tails, but this issue certainly reminds us that he’s not only hard on their backs, but more than capable of hunting them down ruthlessly. 

I admire the monthly schedule the creative team has been able to stick to with each of these first two story-arcs, but in this issue the art team of Giuseppe Camuncoli and Leonardo Marcello Grassi seems rushed at times. Furthermore, it would seem we have found this artistic team’s weakness: large scale action and especially double-page spreads simply look amateur at best. This is not the quality I’ve come to expect from this book. Add this sloppiness in art (at times) to a script that once more favours exposition and repetition and the overall reading experience felt more like a chore than entertaining.

Rushed artwork?

A low point in series full of high points, but a series I’m not ready to give up on yet. Although, with the predictable narrative pattern now established  – new story-arc, new zone – I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep up on a title that could become worryingly monotonous very quickly. And, while there is a shark of sorts in this issue, they haven’t jumped it yet. 

Undiscovered Country #10 is out Wednesday 25th November from Image Comics

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