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HEAVY METAL: 'Chasing The Dragon' #1 is Available Now

 In Chasing the Dragon , New York Times Bestselling writer Denton J. Tipton and acclaimed painter menton3 explore a dark fantasy world ravaged by the rampant abuse of a drug made from the blood of dragons. When two young slaves discover a terrible secret that could change the course of the world, will a meek alchemist’s apprentice and a drug-addled concubine survive long outside their cages? For fans of Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad . CHASING THE DRAGON Writer: Denton J. Tiption  Artist: menton3 Publisher: Heavy Metal Release: Feb. 26, 2021  Order Here

REVIEW: Undiscovered Country' #2 by Charles Soule, Scott Snyder, Giuseppe Camuncoli, and Matt Wilson

As the team goes on the run from the deadly Destiny Man, the focus shifts to Charlotte's brother, Daniel. Until this expedition, he was the only person on Earth to successfully infiltrate the black box that is the United States. What secrets did Daniel learn that might keep the team alive, and what did they cost him?

Writer: Charles Soule, Scott Snyder
Artist: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Colors: Matt Wilson 
Letters: CRANK!
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: December 11, 2019
Cover Price: $3.99

Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)

With a book this ambitious and with a scope this large, the details are important. When an entire country like the United States of America isolates itself from the world for thirty years the result could be mindblowing. As issue two reveals, we've entered Mad Max territory as the crew that infiltrated the border has realized. It's even crazier than anyone imagined. Still, we need more context and with these many characters, we need some character-building. 

Again, a mission this big in a world unseen for decades needs planning and discussion. Few writers are better or more comfortable diving deep into the dialogue between characters than Scott Snyder. It's just a necessity because with so many characters trapped in a mine trying to figure out their next move in a territory ruled by the Destiny King it has to happen. The first issue was the set-up, a great tense action-adventure that put together this diverse group to enter the U.S. and find a cure for the pandemic affecting the rest of the world. A dubious invitation brought them there but the reality is now a rescue mission. It's a complicated expedition that the characters debate in great detail. It's heavy on the details and light on the action this time. 

I can't fault Snyder and co-writer Charles Soule for presenting the dilemma and spending so much time on the characters discussing their predicament and resolution. They've painted themselves into this corner where you either explain what's at stake or risk relying on the action at the expense of character development. The story is split with flashbacks of Daniel's past as he's the only one who's attempted to break into the U.S. before. The flashbacks do pay off but the cliffhanger leads to even more questions. You have to be in for the long-haul with 'Undiscovered Country' as a reader. This is part-literature and part dystopian action movie. 

I get the feeling that artists Giuseppe Camuncoli, Danielle Orlandini, and Matt Wilson are chomping at the bit to really let loose with the bizarre designs of this mysteriously monstrous new world. We've gotten a glimpse so far and it's wild with nods to the beserk desert thugs of movies like Mad Max with a more fantastical technological edge. I'm sure there are more crazy designs to come. 

'Undiscovered Country' #2 gives us more character development with a focus on Daniel. It's an immersive exercise in storytelling akin to how one eats an elephant: one bite at a time. Consider this a small bite of a much larger more ambitious story. There won't be anything wrapped up neatly within twenty-two pages so it's best to hunker down and take it all in one issue at a time. It should be worth it.