Undiscovered Country Vol. 4: Disunity
Scott Snyder & Charles Soule, writers; Giuseppe Camuncoli, layouts; Leonardo Marcello Grassi, finishes; Matt Wilson, colors; Crank!, lettering
Image Comics, 2023
It's been over a year since I read the previous volume, and I forgot just how surreal the story is. The American A.I. Aurora has split the group up. Charlotte and the journalist Valentina (with her drone Buzz) have landed in Zone History (a strange Zone obsessed with milestones in U.S. history); Chang, Janet, and Ace are also in Zone History (but a part focused on a future where America rules globally). Uncle Sam explains that the zone was built to test out many different historical inflection points at once, which the designer referred to as "channels." He thinks Charlotte and Valentina are there to learn something, then reunite with Chang, Janet, and Ace. Daniel and Alexander are somewhere else, a mystery location he declines to reveal.
With both groups it quickly becomes apparent that this is not the normal reality. Not only are Charlotte and Valentina experiencing a succession of historical events–from Paul Revere's midnight ride to Pearl Harbor to the Civil War–but they keep dying and resetting the scene. It's like a real-life video game, driven by science so incomprehensible that it looks like magic. The other group starts out in the Pax Americana, but the Great Global Alliance is still opposed to American dominance. And other team members have already died in their current timeline: so, the whole experience has an air of unreality.
But they are reunited in the end, and find themselves in Zone Bounty (you can tell by the gigantic ears of corn). As Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Pan-Asian Prosperity Zone Chang contacts the PAPZ Pacific Fleet, which will send the group into Spirality in the next arc. The Supplemental Materials that close the collection include character and device designs, flags, and cover variants.