Undiscovered Country: Unity, review of the second volume of the saldaPress series

Undiscovered Country: Unity, review of the second volume of the saldaPress series

Undiscovered Country

The world of entertainment, in all its forms, seems to have made a commitment to show us the true face of America. After years of being idealized and made a model to aspire to, the American Way has lost some of this immaculate aura of perfection, being portrayed in its entirety, demolishing the patina of hypocrisy and letting its dark sides emerge. The world of cinema and seriality, in recent years, has followed this trend with productions such as Mad Men, Them or American Elegy, but in literature and in the world of comics these social influences have been present for a long time. A synergy that was born since the time of On the road now finds worthy heirs in comic books such as Undiscovered Country, recently arrived in its second volume, Undiscovered Country: Unity.

It is not the first time that saldaPress expands its already rich catalog with a comic that accompanies us in a picturesque examination of the authentic American spirit. In Redneck, the theme of vampires becomes our tool for analyzing the rural dimension of the States, while Manifest Destiny is a reinterpretation of one of the symbols of the spirit of the frontier in which the paranormal becomes the lens under which to investigate the hypocrisies inherent in American society. But we could also mention Dreaming Eagles, American Monster and many others, a comic library with a strong social content which Undiscovered Country has also joined.

Undiscovered Country: Unity, the dark side of American ingenuity

Nomen omen, one might say. The idea of ​​making the States once again the new world to be discovered is the basis of the series created by Snyder and Soules, who imagine a future in which an unstoppable disease, Sky, is decimating the world population. The political blocs in which this Earth of tomorrow is divided do not seem able to stop the advance of the disease, at least until the promise of a cure from a country now considered lost: the United States.

Wrapped from the mystery caused by a voluntary isolation that took place thirty years earlier, the States suddenly become the last hope of a cure, which is offered by Dr. Samuel Elgin, apparently at the head of the United States. An expedition is immediately sent from the Old Continent, but the arrival on the American coasts will coincide with the beginning of a journey to discover a reality profoundly different from the one imagined, in which nightmare and violence are just some of the manifestation of the new America.

The first chapter of Undiscovered Country showed us the Destiny zone, one of the geographical blocks into which the United States is now divided. Soule and Snyder's first foray into the world aimed at creating a sort of religious interpretation of the American Way, referring precisely to that dimension of 'manifest destiny' so dear to American social mythology. Not surprisingly, European travelers were confronted with a survivalist reality in which the great symbols of the current American social creed (from mega stores to status symbol vehicles) were declined in an almost animist way. The escape from this first area took place, not surprisingly, on board a train, which in the history of the States has been the driving force behind the evolution towards a national unity capable of overcoming the incredible distances between its different souls. br>
The States portrayed in Undiscovered Country are no longer united, but have become an intertwining of different areas in which different purposes are pursued, all aimed at creating a new national identity, following the directives of the mysterious organization Aurora. The first volume of Uniscovered Country inserted us drastically into the new America, focusing mainly on the definition of the members of the team of explorers, but with Undiscovered Country: Unity we have the opportunity to discover some more details about the origin of this new Union, through some flashbacks that take us back to the dawn of the Aurora project.

In this sense, Undiscovered Country reveals some of the harshness of the contemporary American social fabric. In the extras of the previous volume, Destino, saldaPress had published a sort of declaration of intent by Soule and Snyder, in which the two authors told the genesis of Undiscovered Country, sharing their vision of the current States and their anxieties about the future of the nation. Undiscovered Country: Unity, in recounting the events preceding the isolation of the Union, reveals the small hypocrisies and the not always transparent way in which power manages national affairs. The first tensions between the representatives of what will become the thirteen zones (reference to the Thirteen Colonies from which the United States was born) are shown unequivocally, dividing forces that do not grasp the scope of a larger project aimed at cohesion and collaboration .

Symbology and social construction

The second area where Old World travelers find themselves is a representation of contemporaneity, where technology and innovation seem to have betrayed the promise of egalitarian progress, but rather assuming a tone of mellifluous and treacherous domination. Renamed Unity, this second stage of the journey into the Spiral seems to delude the protagonists of having found an advanced area close to their needs. Perfect opportunity for Soule and Snyder to outline their own critical vision of US current affairs, in which the reverse of the coin of modern ingenuity is revived. If on the one hand we are witnessing a display of American enterprise in the field of technological development, on the other we are confronted with the dark side of this hi-tech anarchy, which more than unites, subjugates.

Undiscovered Country proves to be a profound reading, capable of paying homage to the critical spirit of sci-fi. The narrative times allow themselves the right rhythm to deepen the various aspects of this rich plot, capturing allegorical nuances that refer to the American literary tradition, as demonstrated by the white whale in defense of the authentic heart of Unity, the refuge of Dr. Jain, whose obsession seems to echo that of Melville's Achab, in its unruly vitality.

On the other hand, the symbols are imported into Undiscovered Country. Whether it's the famous golden nail seen in the first volume or the iPod that identifies the Unity area, reading this comic means accepting a profound metaphorical and symbolic language. Symbology that goes to portray characteristic glimpses of the States, with architectural works of the great American metropolises, or to give particular features to some characters, to the point of modeling the last American president on the features of Clint Eastwood or giving a strong presence to Professor Elgin of the past resemblance to Abraham Lincoln. Features that may not be perceived by the casual reader, considered as the critical intent of the authors is based on their own experience as American citizens, which inevitably affects the rationale behind the definition of the series plot. Those who have a direct and profound knowledge of American social dynamics and customs, of course, will have at their disposal a deeper perception of these narrative tensions.

The Spiral leaves no way out

To the pride of Undiscovered Country, the ability to impeccably characterize the environment in which the protagonists move must be recognized. Undiscovered Country: Unit, developing in the area of ​​science and technology, is presented as an icy and cold land, with angular features and neutral chromaticity, perfect for developing a game of visual contrasts. Our Giuseppe Camuncoli once again demonstrates a perfect artistic sensitivity in defining the world of Undiscovered Country, but Leonardo Marcello Grassi deserves praise, who working on the impressive visual language of Camuncoli finalizes the tables following the aseptic and linear soul of Unità.

Matt Wilson's colors, precisely because of this need to define Unity as a logical environment, are put to the test, forced to weave a difficult chromatic balance between the coldness of the area and the vitality of the protagonists. A synergy that occasionally shows some smudges, creating an asynchronous sensation between characters and background.

As in the previous chapter, also for Undiscovered Country: Unità saldaPress creates a well-made volume, enriched by a series of extras which are the joy of those who wonder about the secrets of the production of books. Camuncoli's notes on the working sketches of the characters are particularly pleasant, where not only the different evolutions of the characters emerge but also the influences and inspirations that guide the inventiveness of the Italian designer.

Undiscovered Country: Undiscovered Country: Unity reiterates the excellent construction of a compelling narrative system, which, leaning on authentic American mythology, tries to tell the other America, often little known abroad. And here we return to the concept of 'unexplored land' that offers the title to the series, a nation far from the current image, or even passed from the point of view of the protagonists, towards a new identity, leaving only one doubt: where the comic ends and where does the truth begin?

Powered by Blogger.