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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


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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


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Review: Undiscovered Country #8

Undiscovered Country #8

A divided America full of chaos and unrest. A divided America whose ideals have been perverted and twisted. When Undiscovered Country began, the fantastical series felt much more… fantasy. As the series has progressed, each issue feels like it’s an exploration of the current American zeitgeist. Undiscovered Country #8 begins to explore the slip to technocratic solutions and the impact, both good and bad, of technology on our lives.

The group of explorers have moved on to the second of the thirteen territories and the new United States. The first was called Destiny, the second is Unity. Unity, located in the Pacific Northwest is a technocratic dreamcoat. It’s a society built on nano-technology where one has to only think to be rewarded. Buildings, plants, vehicles, everything has been consumed by an overarching, and most likely overreaching technology. It’s also a world of temptation and clear malevolence underneath.

Writers Scott Snyder and Charles Soule delivers a Willy Wonka/Wizard of Oz/Alice in Wonderland journey into a debased America. Our real-world is twisted and explored in ways that feel all to close to home as our reality plays out. While protests flood our streets and the government slides into Fascism, the abuse of technology to manipulate the populace hangs in the background. This second territory feels like that abuse taken to extremes and once again is ahead of the curve as far as topics flooding newspapers.

Much like the debut story arc, Undiscovered Country #8 continues to introduce us to the world. The concepts, basis of reality shift with each keeping readers on their toes. Unlike the more barbaric Destiny, Unity is a world of the future and what ifs? There’s also a clear nightmare waiting underneath it all and it’s a question as to when, not if, that will be revealed. The issue is also a solid entry point. Though the new arc began with the previous issue, this one is fine for new readers to explore the world as they have avatars asking questions they’ll have in the main cast of characters.

The insanity and fantastical is delivered by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Leonardo Marcello Grassi. The art is full of so much detail that it begs the readers to spend time on each page and with each panel exploring the world. Much like our main cast of characters, the visuals are our true introduction to the mystery. We’re forced to piece together what’s going on as our guide, Uncle Sam, only gives cryptic clues.

Matt Wilson does a solid job as the visuals are generally lacking in much color beyond white. With a mostly mono-chromatic look, the colors still really work using some grays to really make the details pop. There’s also work between the trio to deliver something that’s slightly off. Buildings feel like they’re slightly crooked, whether that’s on purpose or not is unknown. But, it feels like it is and done so to show that the technology isn’t perfect and there’s more than meets the eye. Crank!‘s lettering too comes in to play. There is a lot of dialogue and it is laid out well but there’s also a serene aspect to the font choice that doesn’t become apparent until the very end.

Undiscovered Country #8 is another fantastic journey into the crazy world this creative team has created. There’s a horror story awaiting as we’re given the setup that we know is too good to be true. But, where it all goes is unknown. Undiscovered Country is a series where anything is possible and with that it has become a series where we’re forced to expect the unexpected and just enjoy the wild ride.

Story: Scott Snyder, Charles Soule Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Leonardo Marcello Grassi
Color: Matt Wilson Lettering: Crank!
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Fire Power Gets a Double Sellout and New Printings

The New York Times bestselling, Eisner Award winning pop culture phenomenon Robert Kirkman has caught lightning in a bottle once more on his co-creation with Eisner winning artist Chris Samnee, Eisner Award-winning colorist Matt Wilson, and letterer Rus Wooton in the new series—Fire Power. Issues #1 and #3 are being rushed back to print in order to keep up with breakout customer demand.

Despite a total of 200K copies of Fire Power #1 already pumped into circulation, the launch issue has sold out at the distributor level, alongside Fire Power #3, with backorders piling up.

In the new series Fire Power, Owen Johnson’s journey to China to learn about his birth parents eventually leads him to a mysterious Shaolin Temple. The students there study The Fire Power—the lost art of throwing fireballs. A power they claim will be needed soon to save the world. Will Owen Johnson be the first person in a thousand years to wield the Fire Power?

Fire Power #1, second printing (Diamond Code AUG208118) and Fire Power #3, second printing (Diamond Code AUG208119) will both be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, October 14.

Review: Undiscovered Country #7

Undiscovered Country #7

Undiscovered Country has been a wild ride. The series focuses on an America that has been walled off to a world devastated by disease and what is found when an international team ventures across the American border. The first arc took us on a Mad Max-like adventure with giant fortress cities on wheels and roving bands riding mutant animals. It was everything, including the kitchen sink, of ideas and the second arc seems to focus on explaining some of the insanity. Undiscovered Country #7 kicks off that second arc as our team has made it into the next zone on a train. But, that’s not the big focus on the issue.

Writers Scott Snyder and Charles Soule have begun to give us some answers to the madness in Undiscovered Country #7. Some of the story focuses on twenty years before the story as the United States begins its devolution into insanity. We get hints as to the science and the why things have gone bad as representatives from the various zones, the U.S. government, meet to discuss the state of the nation.

Through this simple scene, we learn so much more about why things have gone the way they have but also what is at the heart of this new America. What is up with the different zones and what lies ahead? We start really learning that here. We also get more of the philosophy of this nation in what feels like a critique of the current state of affairs.

And that’s where Undiscovered Country gets really interesting. A pandemic. A country walling itself off from the world. It all feels a bit too on the nose for today’s news. All we need us mutant animals but cannibal ants and murder hornets can fill that niche. How this series would be read would be very different if the current state of the world wasn’t what it is. As is, the comic series feels like an exaggeration of the spiral down the toilet we’re currently experiencing.

The art in Undiscovered Country #7 is a bit less insane compared to the previous arc. There aren’t mutants or crazy structures, yet, to have fun with. Instead, it’s mostly a train ride and a government meeting that has our focus. But, the art is still key. Giuseppe Camuncoli and Leonardo Marcello Grassi handle that and the details in the government meeting tell as much a story as what is said. It’s a pivotal scene that will leave you lingering to get the details. Matt Wilson provides colors and Crank! the lettering and while the visuals aren’t as over the top, they may be more important. Where before they shocked us into reality, the art in this issue helps tell the story of a nation.

Undiscovered Country #7 is a new arc and a decent starting point for new readers. You should absolutely read the first arc but this issue is focused more on explaining the current state of the nation, both imaginary and in reality. It continues to build the world that Snyder and Soule have come up with much like the first arc. What’s impressive though is how they do it feels like it has shifted gears a bit. An impressive start to what is a beyond intriguing series.

Story: Scott Snyder, Charles Soule Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Leonardo Marcello Grassi
Color: Matt Wilson Lettering: Crank!
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.15 Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Fire Power #1 is on Sale in August with New Cover Art. Out the Same Day as Fire Power #2

The highly anticipated Fire Power #1 issue by Robert Kirkman and Chris Samnee on sale Wednesday, August 5, and priced at $3.99, will feature different cover art from the free promotional edition (formerly: Free Comic Book Day edition) of the comic. This issue of Fire Power #1 will also be extra length and feature additional backmatter not previously included in the promotional edition.

Fire Power #2 will also be available for sale on the same day.

In Fire Power, the one who wields the fire power is destined to save the world, but Owen Johnson has turned his back on that life. He doesn’t want the power—he never did. He only wants to spend time with his family and live his life, but unseen forces are at work to make that impossible. Danger lurks around every corner as Owen’s past comes back to haunt him.

Fire Power #1—featuring a new cover by Samnee and Matt Wilson—(Diamond Code JUN200038) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, August 5.

Fire Power #2 (Diamond Code JUN200076) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, August 5.

Fire Power #3 (Diamond Code JUL200204) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, September 2.

Fire Power #1

Review: Undiscovered Country #6

Undiscovered Country #6

I thought it might be weird to dive back in reading Undiscovered Country #6. After all, it’s series about a world ravaged about by a virus and a United States that has cut itself off from the rest of the world. It’s also a United States that has lots its ideals. Instead, I wasn’t weirded out or bothered but instead, a bit underwhelmed.

Written by Scott Snyder and Charles Soule, Undiscovered Country is a wild ride of a series. The first arc, which wraps up with Undiscovered Country #6, is a crazy adventure that’s a wild dystopian journey. Giant creatures, time displacement, hints at a mysterious journey, and a riff on Mad Max, the first arc feels like the first level of a video game. It introduces you to the insanity that lies ahead.

What’s interesting is this issue is all action. A race to the exit point and the ability to move on to the next level. As a film, it’d work fantastically as the motion and stunts would be the focus. But, with the printed page, dialogue becomes a factor and lets face it, it falls a bit flat. Spouting of jingoistic catch-phrases are thrown around like action film banter and it just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in the context. It feels like a bad version of the Junkions in Transformers: The Movie. Tastes great! Less filling! It’s a bit distracting.

But the visuals continue to be amazing and so over the top. Hot air balloon made out of a space shuttle? Check. Starfish steeds? Got that too. Giant rolling fortress with rockets strapped on. It’s here. Giuseppe Camuncoli and Leonardo Marcello Grassi take it all so over the top in the visuals, it’s what draws you in. Add Matt Wilson‘s eye popping colors and Crank!‘s lettering and you’ve got an issue driven by the visual insanity. There’s clear homages to film through the comic and moments that will play out so well when the eventual film adaptation is released. This is a first arc that was made for the screen.

Undiscovered Country #6 is driven by its visuals. The story is straightforward. It’s a race to an exit while being pursued. The comic is not much more complicated than that. It’s the crazy random thrown in there that is the draw. The first arc of this series is fun in a video game get to the next level sort of way and it’ll be interesting to see where it goes. So far, that can be anything based on what we’ve already seen. While the issue isn’t a spot to start, it does make things exciting to see where the series goes as it wraps up the first arc.

Story: Scott Snyder, Charles Soule
Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Leonardo Marcello Grassi
Color: Matt Wilson Letterer: Crank!
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.75 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Check out the Hugo Award’s “Best Graphic Story or Comic” Nominees

Hugo Awards

The nominees for “Best Graphic Story or Comic” for this year’s Hugo Awards have been announced. Normally, the winners are announced at Worldcon but with the event this year canceled due to COVID-19, it’s unknown when the winners will be announced.

The nominees were announced on April 8 and were decided from 1,584 valid nominating ballots with a total of 27,033 nominations. Members nominated up to five works/people in each category, and the top six works/people in each category were shortlisted as finalists.

Check out all of the Hugo nominees and the comic nominees below:

  • Die, Volume 1: Fantasy Heartbreaker, by Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans, letters by Clayton Cowles (Image)

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  • LaGuardia, written by Nnedi Okorafor, art by Tana Ford, colors by James Devlin (Berger Books; Dark Horse)

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  • Monstress, Volume 4: The Chosen, written by Marjorie Liu, art by Sana Takeda (Image)

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  • Mooncakes, by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker, letters by Joamette Gil (Oni Press; Lion Forge)

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  • Paper Girls, Volume 6, written by Brian K. Vaughan, drawn by Cliff Chiang, colors by Matt Wilson, letters by Jared K. Fletcher (Image)

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  • The Wicked + The Divine, Volume 9: “Okay”, by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie, colors by Matt Wilson, letters by Clayton Cowles (Image)

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On top of the comics above, Avengers: Endgame and Captain Marvel are nominated in “Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form,” and Watchmen: “A God Walks into Abar” and Watchmen: “This Extraordinary Being” are nominated in “Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form.”


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Hulkling Takes the Throne in Jamie McKelvie’s Empyre #1 Variant

With a Skrull soldier on his right and a Kree soldier on his left, Hulkling takes his rightful place as the Emperor of the new Kree/Skrull alliance on superstar artist Jamie McKelvie with colors by Matt Wilson’s variant cover for Empyre #1. Born to a Kree father and a Skrull mother, the young hero has fulfilled his destiny by putting an end to a millennia-long conflict and uniting the galaxy’s two largest armies. Equipped with a powerful sword and leading the greatest armada the universe has ever seen, the new Emperor is ready to take on whatever obstacles are in his path as he makes his way to Earth. Will the Avengers and Fantastic Four dare to get in his way?

Empyre #1, the start of Marvel’s latest sci-fi epic, hits stands April 15th. It’s written by Al Ewing and Dan Slott, featuring art by Valerio Schiti, and the main cover by Jim Cheung.

Empyre #1 Jamie McKelvie variant cover

Olivier Coipel’s Thor #4 Cover Delivers a Brutal Showdown Between Friends

Writer Donny Cates and artist Nic Klein’s critically acclaimed run on Thor continues next month as the crushing weight of Thor’s new responsibilities as King of Asgard AND Herald of Galactus lead to him facing off against one of his most trusted allies, Sif. Get your first look at this intense brawl in Olivier Coipel’s cover below as well as brand-new interior pages from Nic Klein and Matt Wilson. Plus, in this issue readers will finally meet the terrifying cosmic threat that has caused Thor to embark on his latest legendary quest… That’s right, the universe-destroying Black Winter has arrived!

Don’t miss a single issue of the Thor story that will be told in the pubs of Asgard for millennia to come. Thor #3 hits stands tomorrow and Thor #4 goes on sale March 11th!

Thor #4
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