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Review: Undiscovered Country #12

Undiscovered Country #12

Undiscovered Country #12 wraps up the adventurer’s time in Unity as the battle against Destiny Man rages and the sector surviving is in the balance. This second arc is an interesting one as it challenges some of the mission and really leaves readers pondering if Unity is the best that America has to offer.

Though it sucked the will and choice from individuals, Unity as a sector delivered peace through technology. There was no illness or poverty but there was also a technocratic hand that controlled everything. There was a calm and orderly aspect to it all but with it came a heavy and grizzly price. But, even with that we’re left wondering if it’s the best this new America has to offer.

And that’s part of the brilliance of what writers Scott Snyder and Charles Soule have put together with Undiscovered Country. We’re presented with an exaggeration of the various aspects that make up the United States. Each has some good and each has some bad. In the end we’re likely going to find out none of them are ideal and ideal is the whole but that’s a ways to go. Instead, with each sector we’re shown the good and the bad and in ways left to decide for ourselves what we would do if we were on this journey. The characters are vessels by which the reader is asked questions.

The world has been masterfully crafted this way and each is clearly thought out as far as its underlying philosophy and what it brings to the table, both good and bad.

That world is help crafted by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Leonardo Marcello Grassi. The duo continue to present amazing art. Each sector so far has been so different from each other but at the same time it still feels like it’s the same world. Along with color by Matt Wilson and lettering by Crank!, Undiscovered Country #12 does an amazing job of showing the corruption of the Destiny Man in Unity. The visuals play heavy into that as well as the Destiny Man’s dialogue. It all comes together to show how different he is from the “clean and orderly” Unity. The battle between forces really feels epic and ground shaking.

Undiscovered Country #12 wraps up the current arc while pointing us on our next adventure… which seems intriguing. The series continues to challenge readers to think about the ideals that make up America and shows what happens when things get unbalanced. It’s a reflection of our world and at times continues to mirror real events. It does what science fiction does best, act as a layered discussion of the world in which we live.

Story: Scott Snyder, Charles Soule Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Leonardo Marcello Grassi
Color: Matt Wilson Letterer Crank!
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Preview: Star Wars #11

Star Wars #11

(W) Charles Soule (A) Jan Bazaldua (CA) Carlo Pagulayan
Rated T
In Shops: Feb 03, 2021
SRP: $3.99

OPERATION STARLIGHT GOES SUPERNOVA!
• The mission to reunite the REBEL FLEET is countered by a deadly trap sprung by the cunning COMMANDER ZAHRA!
• How will WEDGE ANTILLES, SHARA BEY and the other elite pilots of STARLIGHT SQUADRON survive?
• And then there’s LANDO CALRISSIAN… forced to choose between THE REBELLION and one of his oldest friends!

Star Wars #11

Review: Undiscovered Country #11

Undiscovered Country #11

Undiscovered Country has been a fascinating journey, one that feels like a spiral into madness. The journey into this new United States has been one that has been a reflection upon our real world while projecting the worst of what we are and could be. This current story arc has been a horror story in the making and Undiscovered Country #11 gives us the full picture of that horror.

Written by Scott Snyder and Charles Soule, Undiscovered Country #11 has our group of explorers still in “Unity”. They’re presented with the truth of the land and all of the negative it comes with. This, while dealing with the attacks from the Destiny Man. Beyond the reality that’s presented, what’s interesting is it presents the role of technology and innovation within US history. It’s an interesting perspective and one that focuses it a unique way. The basic idea is that the US’s technology innovation has allowed us to connect easier. By doing so it has allowed us to live a more isolated and individual life. We can travel long distances allowing us to live further apart. Communication allows us to connect from thousands of miles away.

Undiscovered Country #11 also drops the moment I’ve been expecting where paradise turns into a nightmare. It’s been clear Unity is too good to be true and now we get to see it in its true self. We also get a bit more of a tease about the journey itself and the choice our group of travelers will have to make.

The art of Undiscovered Country #11 stands out as Giuseppe Camuncoli and Leonardo Marcello Grassi lift the veil of Unity’s true self. Gone are the white walls and clean city. In its place is something much darker and scarier. They’re joined by Matt Wilson on colors and Crank! on lettering. Together, the group has slowly driven the story narratively adding slight visual elements to tip us off as things progress.

Undiscovered Country #11 leaves us to question the nature of Unity and technological advances. Paradise was anything but. We’re also left to question the technology in our own lives. The series continues to be an interesting exploration of American ideals and America’s history giving us an exaggerated reflection of our real world.

Story: Scott Snyder, Charles Soule Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Leonardo Marcello Grassi
Color: Matt Wilson Letterer: Crank!
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.15 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Watch the Creation of Charles Soule, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Will Sliney’s Hell to Pay live!

Bestselling author Charles Soule and artist Will Sliney will combine the immediacy and excitement of Twitch live streaming with the comics creation process, as they create their upcoming Image series Hell to Pay live for fans around the world.

The critically acclaimed Sliney, along with colorist Rachelle Rosenberg will take to Twitch live stream to draw and color the pages for Hell to Pay #1—and with Soule joining them to workshop design and story elements, it will be the first Image comic to be created live and in real-time, opening up the process for audiences on every level. Live streams will occur regularly on Sliney’s Twitch channel as well as Rosenberg’s.

The live streams documenting the creation of the upcoming adventure/fantasy series will showcase Sliney’s technique, give a sneak peek into the comic making craft, and provide fans with an opportunity to order a collectible first printing of the series—months before its official launch in Summer 2021. 

Best described as Indiana Jones meets Hellboy, this supernatural story will provide a punch of derring-do and paranormal intrigue. We follow Maia and Sebastian Stone, a married couple working as indentured servants to the mysterious Shrouded College, tasked to use various magical artifacts and abilities to track down and remove from earthly circulation six hundred and sixty-six coins of the currency used in Hell… qurrakh… aka the Devil’s Dollar. Each coin can buy the services of a demon, and they have wreaked havoc across the globe ever since a damned soul escaped Hell centuries ago with a sack of them over his shoulder. Maia and Sebastian are on the cusp of retrieving the last few coins when everything falls apart. Their planned life together, free from their debts to the Shrouded College, suddenly seems very distant indeed, and the world now hangs in the balance.

Hell to Pay #1 will be available at comic book shops in Summer 2021.

Hell to Pay #1

Preview: Star Wars #9

Star Wars #9

(W) Charles Soule (A) Jan Bazaldua (CA) Carlo Pagulayan
Rated T
In Shops: Dec 09, 2020
SRP: $3.99

UNDERTAKE A DESPERATE MISSION TO THE IMPERIAL CORE.
• In the Imperial Museum on CORUSCANT, an ancient droid holds the key to salvation of the REBEL ALLIANCE.
• The Rebels’ elite operations team, the PATHFINDERS, must pull off a daring heist right under the nose of the EMPEROR himself, with LANDO and LOBOT along for the ride!

Star Wars #9

Review: Undiscovered Country #10

Undiscovered Country #10

Unity is under attack by the Destiny Man as we learn more about this technologically advanced part of the new America. Undiscovered Country #10 is an interesting issue as it presents the action in the present while tying it into the revelations about the past.

Writer Scott Snyder and Charles Soule continue their impressive series exploring the different facets of modern America. The series is both a microscope and an exaggeration of our reality taking the good and bad to their extremes. Unity is a technological marvel using nano-technology to make everything a reality. But, it’s the underlying philosophy that’s an interesting one. Unity isn’t just named that, it’s something it believes in. One people working towards a goal. While the residents of it claim they act under their own free will, there’s a underlying horror and trepidation about it all.

In the previous arc, we saw what freedom and individualism run amok looks like. Unity is the opposite where the vision is one. It’s the embodiment that America is best when it works together. But, taken to an extreme it dives into questions of freedom and free will. The issue doesn’t deliver answers, instead, Undiscovered Country #10 throws out a lot of questions allowing the reader to debate it all themself.

The art by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Marcello Grassi is fantastic. There’s some imagery that’ll give you pause with designs that feel both familiar and unlike anything I’ve seen. With Matt Wilson’s mostly white palette and Crank!’s lettering, there’s something unsettling about it all. Through the tranquility there continues to be a logical coldness about it all. We get to see some of the animals that stalk in the oceans outside Unity, they’re a twist and a design that fits so well for the series and this particular area.

Undiscovered Country #10 is an interesting issue that begins to reveal the horrors that hide underneath Unity. Its philosophy is debated within without giving real answers. It does what the series does so well, shines a spotlight on an aspect of America and lets the reader decide what to think. But, Undiscovered Country #10 also keeps it entertaining and the reader on their toes. It’s a series that has yet to disappoint and when I finish an issue I have no idea what to expect next.

Story: Scott Snyder, Charles Soule Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Leonardo Marcello Grassi
Color: Matt Wilson Letterer: Crank!
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Preview: Star Wars #8

Star Wars #8

(W) Charles Soule (A) Ramon Rosanas (CA) Carlo Pagulayan
32 PGS./Rated T
In Shops: Nov 04, 2020
SRP: $3.99

TO ESCAPE THE EMPIRE’S TRAP, THE REBELS SPRING ONE OF THEIR OWN!

What’s behind COMMANDER ZAHRA’s quest for revenge against LEIA ORGANA? The powerful, dark answer revealed this issue!

And the REBEL’S Fourth and Seventh Divisions will pay the price for Zahra’s revenge.

See LUKE SKYWALKER, WEDGE ANTILLES and SHARA BEY battle against an onslaught of TIE fighters in the greatest dog fight of the series.

Star Wars #8

Review: Undiscovered Country #9

Undiscovered Country #9

The exploration of “Unity” continues in Undiscovered Country #9 which has the team learning more about the technological marvel. What’s been excellent of this story arc so far is that there’s clearly something ominous. There’s something not right about this territory and their promise clearly has a catch.

Writers Scott Snyder and Charles Soule continue their exploration of the United States, both literally and metaphorically. Each territory of this new United States is an aspect of what makes up America but exaggerated. This is an America run amok. Undiscovered Country #9 focuses on America’s success in innovation. The internet, the space race, so many things have either begun in the US or the US has improved upon it. But, with so much wonder there has also been terror. The nuclear bomb and so many weapons of destruction and death are perfect examples of the negative. As the characters ponder and discuss, Unity represents both the best and possibly worst of what makes the United States special.

Snyder and Soule continue to present the best of it. Unity’s technology allows anything to happen. Memories are stored and needs are met with just a thought. It’s the concept of nanobots taken to an extreme. But, for all the wonder and possibilities, the two creators also deliver some unease. We question everything we’re told. We, as readers, look for clues as to what doesn’t sit right. Like the adventurers, we the reader are skeptical as to what we’re presented. Snyder and Soule has set expectations and toyed with our trust.

Some of the fun is because of the art by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Leonardo Marcello Grassi. It’s hard to read Undiscovered Country #9 and not look for clues in the art. From the stark white setting that screams clean and disinfected, there’s a coldness about what’s presented. While it’s amazing to look at, the art team delivers a presentation that challenges us to look for clues as to what’s off. There may be nothing at all. But, we’re teased to do exactly that. Part of the dance is due to Matt Wilson‘s colors. While much of the issue is white and gray, there’s some other splashes of color drawing your eye to what’s focused on. The fact some of that is red leads to yet more of an ominous feeling towards those details. Crank!‘s lettering too delivers small clues and delivers slight punches to each scene and moment.

Undiscovered Country #9 continues to take us on an adventure much like Alice in Wonderland. We’re presented a wondrous world full of possibilities but underneath that wonder is horror. But, what’s most impressive is the series continues to hold a mirror to our reality. It may be a funhouse mirror but it’s still a twisted reflection of the world we live in. The series as a whole questions American exceptionalism and the building blocks of our nation. It challenges us to question what’s right and what’s wrong and to think about what happens if any extreme “wins”.

Story: Scott Snyder, Charles Soule Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Leonardo Marcello Grassi
Color: Matt Wilson Letterer: Crank! Editor: Will Dennis
Story: 8.75 Art: 8.35 Overall: 8.7 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Cosplay, D&D, Game Shows, Spies, Horror, Star Wars, and More at Baltimore Comic Con Live this Weekend

This weekend, enjoy the 1st annual Baltimore Comic-Con Live, a FREE ONLINE EVENT streaming October 23-25, 2020! Come check out retailers, exhibitors, artists alley, programming, and the Ringo Awards live! There’s an amazing range of topics in the 2020 virtual programming. Regardless of if you’re a cosplayer, a gamer, a movie buff, or just a reader, there’s sure to be something for you!

TERROR IN THE PAGES: Making a Horror Comic

Panelists: Afua Richardson, Tim Seely, Jeremy Haun, Mike Moreci, Jim Terry
Host: John Siuntres
Saturday, October 24, 2020 – 2pm ET / 11am PT

We all love horror, especially the comic creators on this panel. Join us for a group chat to discuss everything we find chilling and downright terrifying in comics.

Afua Richardson

EVIL TED SMITH: Creating Foam Cosplay

Panelists: Evil Ted Smith
Host: Chuck Lindsey
Saturday, October 24, 2020 – 3pm ET / 12pm PT

From Hunger Games to Pirates of the CaribbeanStar Trek to The Walking DeadEvil Ted has worked in the movie industry doing visual effects, prop, and model making for 28 years. In this LIVE demo, he will show you the secrets to making realistic cosplay pieces right at home.

EVIL TED SMITH

TOTALLY AWESOME COMIC BOOK GAMESHOW!!! (or “Stump Tom Brevoort”)

Panelists: Tom Brevoort
Host: Chuck Lindsey
Saturday, October 24, 2020 – 4pm ET / 1pm PT

Watch as contestants compete in a Marvel Trivia Showdown to claim Ultimate Fandom Supremacy. Three rounds of gameshow action to see who knows more about comics than Marvel Executive Editor, Tom Brevoort.

Marvel logo

SPIES LIKE COMICS

Panelists: Stephanie Phillips, Jeff Parker, Brian Stelfreeze, Doug Wagner
Host: Robert Meyer Burnett
Saturday, October 24, 2020 – 4pm ET / 1pm PT

From secret agents to international super criminals, spy comics have been a tent pole of the comic book genre from the very beginning. Join host Robert Meyer Burnett as he delves deep into everything we love about Spy Comics and the hottest titles currently on the shelves.

Stephanie Phillips

DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: Live Game

Panelists: Tom Akel, Jim Zub, Troy Little, Cecil Castellucci, Joel Daly
Host: Joel Daly
Saturday, October 24, 2020 – 11pm ET / 8pm PT

Join the most popular players LIVE for a D&D session for the ages. Dungeon Masters and Players include Tom AkelJim ZubTroy LittleCecil CastellucciJoel Daly, and Sal Crivelli.

Cecil Castellucci

WEB COMICS: What’s Next in Digital?

Panelists: Dean Haspiel, Sanford Greene, Megan Stevenson, Michael Son
Host: Tom Akel
Sunday, October 25, 2020 – 12pm ET / 9am PT

Join Dean Haspiel (2017 Ringo Award winner for The Red Hook), Sanford Greene (2018 Ringo Award winner for 1000), Megan Stevenson (2020 Ringo nominee for The Croaking), and Tapas VP of Content Michael Son for a discussion with Rocketship Entertainment Publisher Tom Akel (Backchannel) on the evolving landscape of digital comics and how creators can evaluate their opportunities versus the traditional market.

Sanford Greene

AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN COMICS

Panelists: Stan Sakai, Dean Haspiel, Erica Schultz, with Dave Kelly and Alex Segura
Host: Gene Kannenberg, Jr.
Sunday, October 25, 2020 – 3pm ET / 12pm PT

A discussion on how comics use the fantastic to tell deeply personal stories. Bucking the conventional wisdom that if you focus on fiction there’s no personal truth to it, this panel brings together creators who channel their own lives and experiences through the limitless potential of big characters and other worlds. Join 2020 Ringo nominees Stan Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo), Erica Schultz (Forgotten Home), and Dave Kelly (Tales of the Night Watchman) with 2017 Ringo winner Dean Haspiel (The Red Hook) and Alex Segura (The Black Ghost, Co-President Archie Comics). Moderated by Gene Kannenberg, Jr.

Dean Haspiel

STAR WARS COMICS

Panelists: Charles Soule, Katie Cook, Greg Pak, Mike Moreci
Host: Alden Diaz
Sunday, October 25, 2020 – 3pm ET / 12pm PT

Explore the world and history of Star Wars comics from the creators that know it best!!! Join host Alden Diaz for a very special look into a galaxy far far away with panelists Charles SouleKatie CookGreg Pak, and Mike Moreci.

Greg Pak

Preview: Star Wars #7

Star Wars #7

(W) Charles Soule (A) Ramon Rosanas (CA) Carlo Pagulayan
Rated T
In Shops: Oct 07, 2020
SRP: $3.99

SHE WILL HAVE REVENGE!
• COMMANDER ELLIAN ZAHRA has been tasked by the terrifying DARTH VADER with the job of tracking down the remnants of the REBEL FLEET, scattered since the BATTLE OF HOTH.
• From the bridge of her flagship the TARKIN’S WILL, she hunts the galaxy, eradicating all resistance, her secret goal to destroy LEIA ORGANA.
• But why such hate for the PRINCESS OF ALDERAAN? The truth… will be REVEALED!

Star Wars #7
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