What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Undiscovered Country #8! After our introduction to the new zone, this issue was much-anticipated as we journey deeper into the undiscovered country. As I said before, these zones seem to take on a life of their own from within. And with that we’ve also been thrust from one mystery into another. Though one has to wonder what dangers that has in store for this group.
Now with our introduction to the new zone known as Unity, there was the big twit which we immediately jumped into. That involving the reveal that there is more than just one Uncle Sam roaming about this undiscovered country. I actually love this development, because most times that there is a character like this? It’s quite refreshing to see all the ways that they will appear to be different people, yet still the same person at the core. That said, I was surprised by the reaction from the rest of the group to this. You would expect them to be written in a way that this turned out to be one of the easier things for them to digest, but that simply was not the case. Not that I would really argue with the interaction between them, because at the end of the day, they are being thrown from one fire into the next the deeper they go.
It didn’t take long either to get a taste of what makes Unity so different from the other zones. In their own way they sent the message to us about why this zone would be called what it is. That this creative team also decided that example needed to be a painful one? I couldn’t disagree with the choice. With a group like this, you would expect that there are some things they can only learn by running into some danger. Especially considering there are some individuals among them who are problematic just for their inability to think or act rationally in contrast to the rest. Though this isn’t to ignore the fact that the group ran into some trouble in the previous issue, because they did. However, even in that moment and what came after, this is the kind of experience where you have to face all possibilities standing in front of you.
From there, I was impressed with the explanation of how Unity works internally and externally. This could have been very over-the-top and complicated, but that was not at all the case here. They explained things simply to us, and in a way that wasn’t difficult to digest. There are some books out there which would have turned a scene like that into something wordy and boring. There are plenty of ways like this to get straight to the point and remain engaging.
Beyond this, I appreciated that the conversation with Ace didn’t stop from there it last left off in the Destiny zone. It would have been a problem to me if they dropped that bomb on our laps that time passed differently in the undiscovered country, only to forget about what this should mean moving forward. It mattered that Ace was given that little bit of wiggle room to address something which fundamentally changes everything about the mission of these people. Because at the end of the day, is any of this worth it if they would be returning to a very different world outside of these walls? Inquiring minds need these facts to be explored as much as possible.
The big thing for this month’s issue was the focus this art team placed on breathing life into Unity. From start to finish I was impressed with the unique design of this zone, because there are many ways that this could have been very predictable. A region of progress and advancements. That could easily have been a silver city with flying cars, large towers, and ads thrown in your face at every turn. Though instead they took an approach which worked best because it took advantage of what you can do with a wide use of whites and grey scale. Not to mention what you can build through the basic idea that everything can be built and modified out of nothing. The effect they used for building was great as well. Not too flashy, but the fluidity of the material which makes up this region cemented the fact that everything is alive. Aside from this, the attire of the people did stand out for being more uniform, rather than outrageous.
Through the events of Undiscovered Country #8, we have entered into the zone of progression. It looks like a dream come true, but it does make you question where things are going to go wrong here. This doesn’t seem like the kind of story that will let them pass through without jumping some hurdles. Particularly since these guys did not proceed into the spiral alone…