What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Undiscovered Country #4! Only three issues into this series and already we are engulfed by the terrors of the unknown, and now known. Right now these characters are screwed, and what matters more than anything else is how much worse things can get before they get better. Knowing this creative team, this was going to be an issue to brace for. I mean, it can’t get any worse than realizing so many more years passed than anticipated? Right?
The burning question leading up to this issue was what the Destiny Man planned to do with these explorers? This could have easily been where things got brutal. So far nothing about this zone has given any indication that being caught was going to lead to anything other than pain and suffering. However, before we got around to anything nasty, this issue spent a good portion of time answering another burning question. Who is the Destiny Man? And what does he want? The answer to that was very enlightening. Learning about him was pretty much the same as learning about this new country from a different perspective. We understood a bit about what the world was like after the walls closed them off from the rest of the world. From there we came to understand how far the world shifted from the way we see it today. All of which created a grasp of the Destiny Man’s vision for the country, and why he wishes for the rest of the country to be more like what he has built before our explorers.
Where this led to next was also interesting for the fact that they are still taking the time to better develop these characters. This time around that character just so happens to be Valentina Sandoval. It was a different approach as well considering there wasn’t too much of a lead into getting her story. Not a problem of course since you can’t really expect that everything will weave perfectly into the plot. Sometimes you just have to jump right into it. Compared to some of the others, her involvement was definitely fitting as a journalist. Not only a journalist, but one who makes use of drones to accomplish this.
Getting to know Valentina through her time weeks before the exploration was very beneficial towards understanding the role she was meant to play here. It seems that just about everyone on the expedition to the new country came there with their own agenda. Obviously there wasn’t going to be anything too mysterious from someone who only seeks the truth. Though this does not change the attitude she has towards getting it. That was her strongest quality that we got from the events of this issue. In the past couple of issues it was refreshing to come to know two characters who are chasing after something real. Something that is certain whether it is unlocking the truths to this land, or grasping how any of it is possible.
By the end of this issue she also grew to be my favorite among this cast of characters. There was so much uncertainty about this plot and suddenly here she was blowing the doors wide open to everything unknown. Simply brilliant execution of her showing why she is so good at her job. What made the biggest difference here is that no one was prepared for answers in the fourth issue. Yet here they were dropped on our laps like bombs. Even then with every answer came more questions which make you anxious about what comes next.
This issue currently is my favorite issue visually from this art team. I know some people might say that I’m crazy considering everything our eyes were treated to in just the first two issues. Though hear me out. For me, I enjoy all of those things because they bring out the uniqueness of a book like this. Even in this issue there was more than enough creative to appreciate. However, all of that is meaningless if you don’t have the highest quality put into it. I felt like this issue in particular came with the strongest pencils. The pencil work was clean, defined, everything was right in your face with clarity. The Destiny Man was the most interesting thing to grace these pages because he had that creativity put into him, while at the same time holding so much charisma through the use of body language. Not to mention his presence in general. It was also engaging to have these scenes with Valentina where they played with perspective and more expressive reactions. Aside from this, excellent use of colors still with so much that goes on with the inhabitants of the new country, and the country itself. Personally I loved the focused blues for the things which glowed. I don’t know why they glow, but it was something which grabs your attention instantly.
In this issue it was also more notable how the Destiny Man’s lettering stood out. It was a great choice in using the black and blue boxes which in more ways than one show that he is more than human.
If you weren’t already invested in this book, Undiscovered Country #4 makes this a book you will want to stick with to the bitter end. What we get out of the pages of Undiscovered Country is a rare experience in comics. A bold idea which is taken to new heights with each passing issue. I can’t wait to see how this series continues to astonish in the issues to come!