It’s amazing how art imitates reality, or at least a possible one. From the first pages of Undiscovered Country, you would think that the creators knew about COVID-19 way before anyone else. Not only that, the United States has been blocked from the rest of the world via a huge wall. But that’s just the beginning with the new graphic novel series Undiscovered Country; written by Scott Snyder and Charles Soule and with artwork by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Daniele Orlandini, Leonardo Marcello Grassi, Matt Wilson, and Crank!. This first volume, Destiny, takes readers on a trip into a new surreal America with deadly creatures, high-tech weaponry, and a journey into the country’s heartland.
In the future, the Sky Virus has infected most of the world’s population. Dr. Charlotte Graves tries to help those who are sick, but with limited resources and no cure insight, she is not sure what to do. When a secret invitation from Dr. Samuel Elgin of the United States of America comes through, she agrees to return on a mission into the walled country hoping to find the cure. The crew, which includes her militant brother, two diplomats, a researcher, a reporter, and a helicopter pilot, do not receive a warm welcome and their helicopter is gunned down by a missile. Luckily everyone survives, but the America that they once knew has changed. They see a caravan of modify vehicles being pulled by aquatic animals, tall human beings wrapped in discarded clothing lead by someone called the Destiny Man, and an underground safe haven called the Silent Minority lead by their messenger who looks a lot like Uncle Sam. The team have no idea what happened to America but they soon learn that they were chosen to travel to this new world and go on a quest to save it.
The creative team behind this series has created a thrilling story centered on a mystery that readers will want to solve. The writing duo of Snyder and Soule have written a mythological storyline based on the American dream of freedom with patriotic symbolism and American history thrown in. Each character has his or her own backstory, providing an in depth look into the social and political society of this alternate world. What exactly will the characters encounter on their journey is unknown, but the cliffhanger alone will keep readers waiting for more.
The artists have created an American wasteland similar to the Mad Max movie series. Large, colorful aquatic animals carry mutated individuals while sun burnt prisoners climb the wall, losing fingers. Scenes that take place in the past have a black border and most scenes with multiple panels span two pages. The story’s world is vastly expanded with a diverse cast and international cities with detailed buildings and landscapes. In between each chapter of the graphic novel, there are fictional quotes centered on the closing of America and a timeline of the events that led to the country’s closure.
Undiscovered Country, Volume 1: Destiny is a great introduction into a new series with so many possible storylines. Alternate history and dystopian fans will be intrigued with the surreal visuals and reworked timelines within the story. This is a must have series for public libraries, especially those who are building their adult graphic novel and comic collection.
Art by Daniele Orlandini, Leonardo Marcello Grassi, Giuseppe Camuncoli
Image Comics, 2020
Title Details and Representation
NFNT Age Recommendation: Adult (18+)