Image Comics reviews 2/10/21 – Undiscovered Country #12, Commanders in Crisis #5

We’re at the halfway point of February releases from Image Comics. There’s some big releases including the always eventful Undiscovered Country #12 and another surprise filled issue of Commanders in Crisis #5. Check out the reviews here.

Commanders in Crisis #5

commanders in crisis #5 interior art

We’re approaching the halfway point of this maxi-series and it’s becoming clear that writer Steve Orlando is going against the norm for this era of dense storytelling. On one hand that means the series has a breakneck sense of pace, but that comes at the expense of character development and easy to comprehend subplots.

Too often this issue it felt like Orlando was speeding through plot points that need more more time or stronger explanations. At times it comes off like Orlando is more focused on the obligatory sex scene. It’s odd how the important story beats are rushed while Orlando tends to waste more valuable page space to characters hooking up.

There’s a significance to the United States’ succession plan, but Orlando is content to tease it instead of developing it further.

This sounds like a lot of griping and that’s true. It’s more a matter of recognizing the exciting potential of this series and wishing Orlando just took his time more with it. Maybe if Orlando and co-creator/artist David Tinto opted to make this an ongoing series the story would flow easier. With only 12 issues there’s a general confusion that’s getting harder to shake like Prizefighter and his conquests.

Tinto’s art remains fun. It’s been the most consistent aspect of the title and his electrifying layouts give the book a better sense of momentum even when characters are just talking or having explosive orgasms. The color work, headed up by Francesca Carotenuto, is spectacular with vibrant, bright choices that give the book an optimistic tone.

At the end of the issue, Orlando teases something I was hoping would be a possibility from early on in the series. That suggests he’s not done providing surprises for a book that still seems capable of greatness with a tighter focus on the main plot and better development of its characters.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Get the first volume of Commanders in Crisis now on Amazon.

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Undiscovered Country #12

undiscovered-country #12 interior art

There’s a way of doing death and destruction without it feeling so overwhelmingly crushing. In modern comics that’s becoming a rarer skill set for writers, but Scott Snyder and Charles Soule haven’t lost sight of the idea that comics can be large scale grandiose adventures that yes, can still be a lot of fun.

Unity is under attack by The Destiny Man while Jaina attempts to replace the expedition with poorly developed clones.
With time running out, the team has to decide if they’ll sacrifice Unity in order to survive to the next zone.

Soule and Snyder have done a solid job in establishing the core characters to the point that their personalities come off distinct and not as unfamiliar. The risk in stating a new team book is taking the necessary time to develop the characters while still keeping the readers engaged in the main plot.

With the foundation firmly established, Snyder and Soule can lean more heavily into the craziness of the States right down to The Destiny Man loading a revolver with an atomic bullet and vintage tech being the key to open the next zone.

Artists Giuseppe Camuncoli and Leonardo Marcello Grassi render Unity’s destruction vividly with some incredibly strong visuals when the inhabitants learn the zone’s biggest secret. Colorist Matt Wilson uses some stellar blends in conveying The Destiny Man’s powers compared to Jaina and the chaos erupting in Unity.

This was one of Undiscovered Country’s strongest issues yet with the explosive end of Unity as the new zone and its secrets await.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Photo Credit: Image Comics

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