With a number of twists and turns particularly in the last few pages, Snyder and Soule shake the formula up in this conclusion to the “Possibility” story arc.
SPOILERS AHEAD for Undiscovered Country #18!
Undiscovered Country #18 adds plenty of electricity and tension. After dealing with Possibility’s many hurdles and finding inspiration for their creation, our group has reached a desperate wall.
In the first half, the issue unfolds with The One Man Band finally receiving their long-awaited song, thanks to Ace’s contribution. With the group now set to continue walking Aurora’s maddening spiral, things take a heavy turn when a familiar face is revealed to be working with The Devil’s schemes. Proving that trust is hard to come by in their walk so far, the group is forced to take the upper hand with a move that could ultimately ruin their chances of escape.
This naturally leads to the last half of the issue, arguably the most disruptive reveal in the entire series so far. With more familiar names returning to the story and an unexpected reveal involving sibling rivalry, it’s clear that Snyder and Soule have every intention of changing the story’s formula for more exciting arcs.
Undiscovered Country #18 easily showcases the most engaging action seen so far. Camuncoli and Grassi continue to fantastically depict not only American popular culture but high-stakes pirate battles across engaging double-page spreads, packed with dynamic movement and horrific sequences. This issue also holds some of the most vivid facial expressions, capturing a diverse spectrum of emotions from pure fear and anguish, to exhilarating thrill and anxiety.
Creativity oozes out of every page, making issue #18 a fun mix of all action and innovative representations of America; superhero tropes, famous album covers, and notable ships from the past. All the while continuing to depict a refreshing interpretation of what America is all about.
Wilson’s colors and Crank!’s lettering also tie everything beautifully. Deep reds, purple shades, and cooling blues create the perfect atmosphere to detail both the American aesthetic and dynamic panels. The lettering also adds a unique tone for each character, clearly defining each personality.
But while its visual and thematic elements are impressive, there is some jarring character development throughout the Possibility arc. Ace has been the primary focus throughout Possibility, but many aspects of his story don’t feel natural when considering the struggle to create a new American phenomenon. For example, Ace is full of theoretical knowledge about American culture and history but doesn’t seem to connect his past authentically to the song, play, or film that the group has been attempting to create all this time.
In one scene, when Ace finally gives The One Man Band a new song, it’s supposedly inspired by a lullaby his mother used to sing. Up until now, there hasn’t been a significantly touching moment between Ace and his mother, other than mentions of his parents dropping him off at school and scolding him on how to spend his money in issue #15. Seeing Ace’s emotional response here is strange and is so quick to be swept under the pile of the immediate action, making the group’s ultimate contribution to Americana underwhelming and unrewarding.
Undiscovered Country #18 is an action-packed conclusion to a memorable zone in the story so far. But with so much room to continue unpacking what America is all about, how the characters uniquely connect to the message they’re trying to share will need clearer connections before they get drowned from raging seas of American themes and settings.
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