Digital Mini Reviews | Alternate Realities

Hi there!

Oh man, what a week it has been! Drove a good 6 hours to get to a northern region of Quebec to train participating police officers in our national bodycam project and it was quite an insightful and immersive experience; especially in terms of understanding their own historical and territorial issues (e.g. everything related to indigenous peoples).

Sometimes when you’re so immersed in high-maintenance situations, you sort of disconnect from your own routine, making it such a relief when you can finally get back to it. Then again, sometimes you’re so used to your own routine that you look for ways to escape it. That’s what alternative realities are for and there are plenty of stories out there that can achieve it quite wonderfully! Check out these comics that are bound to pique your curiosity one way or another, allowing you to explore fascinating (sometimes very terrifying) alternate realities! 🙂

This feature published at an undetermined frequency (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, who knows) will present a couple of mini reviews on anything that isn’t in a physical format that I own (ebooks, comic books, TV series or movies).

Click on the covers to be redirected to their Goodreads page!
Anything presented in this feature doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t get a full-review treatment in the future. That will entirely depend on how much I loved it, how interested you are in hearing more on it, and how much I have to still say about it! 🤣

Undiscovered Country (Vol. 1) by Scott Snyder.

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Publisher: Image Comics.
Pages: 144.
Format: Digital Comics.
Rating: ★★★☆☆.
In UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY, readers will journey into an unknown region that was once the United States of America-a mysterious land that has been literally walled off from the rest of the world for well over a century. Two small expeditions enter the former US simultaneously-one from the east, one from the west-and journey inward, each seeking their own form of truth as they struggle to survive in this strange and deadly lost country!

This story couldn’t feel more American than this. Although it could’ve severely suffered from its radical ideas set in American history and politics, it was easier to accept it for the sake of enjoying the story in the end.

The artwork is fantastic, incredibly colourful and detailed, but the lack of world-building, especially to help the reader understand how the world even came to be like it is here makes it tougher to understand what kind of universe it was going for and if it was trying to be critical or simply exploring a fantasy…

Good thing these two writers (Scott Snyder and Charles Soule) are good at their craft though… Otherwise, I’d have moved on to other stories.

Undiscovered Country (Vol. 2) by Scott Snyder.

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Publisher: Image Comics.
Pages: 168.
Format: Digital.
Rating: ★★★☆☆.
After barely escaping the deadly clutches of the Destiny Man, the expedition team has crossed over into the strange new zone of “Unity” — a futuristic world of gleaming technology and artificial intelligence. But will it be a safe haven for our heroes, or are they destined to be absorbed into hive mind?!

If you’re expecting as much creativity and absurd world-building rooted in American history and patriotism, you’ve got it here, and it’s even cranked up to 200. The story continues where it was left off but the gang find itself in a new world dictated by a false sense of unity. The story and its countless twists continue to be over-the-top, never giving readers a chance to guess where things will go next. If you’ve made it as far as volume 2, you’re probably in it out of curiosity. I know I was and it remains a fun story despite its conceptual flaws.

Once & Future (Vol. 1): The King is Undead by Kieron Gillen.

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Publisher: BOOM! Studios.
Pages: 160.
Format: Digital Comics.
Rating: ★★★☆☆.
When a group of Nationalists use an ancient artifact to bring a villain from Arthurian myth back from the dead to gain power, retired monster hunter Bridgette McGuire pulls her unsuspecting grandson Duncan, a museum curator, into a world of magic and mysticism to combat the deadly secrets of England’s past that threaten its very future.

An original, violent, and action-packed adventure creatively drawing upon Arthurian mythology to introduce us to new threats and unlikely heroes. An unforgiving choppiness in the narration/artwork leaves an impression of emptiness as the story unfolds at a breakneck pace. However, the bombastic and sharp artwork, on top of the charismatic granny, makes for an entertaining and engrossing read.

Review: ONCE & FUTURE explores the power of stories - The Beat

Once & Future (Vol. 2): Old English by Kieron Gillen.

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Publisher: BOOM! Studios.
Pages: 161.
Format: Digital Comics.
Rating: ★★★☆☆.
When an ancient helmet at the British Museum is taken, Bridgette and Duncan are confronted by another hero of yore, one who will lead them to facing off against their most formidable challenge yet…a beast and his mother.
Although Bridgette and Duncan stopped Arthur from retrieving the Grail and separated him from the legendary scabbard of Excalibur, the undead King of the Britons still has his sights on returning to our world and returning to power. By inadvertently changing the story of the famous King, Duncan and Gran have thrown the Otherworld into shambles, allowing for new legends and characters to make their appearance – and bring a world of trouble along with them.

Action-packed, highly creative, gore-tastic. Writer Kieron Gillen continues to dive deep into his mythology arsenal to bring into play famous personages and creatures in this Arthurian adventure. The choppy and depthless narrative (and even artwork) continues to hinder my own enjoyment of this series but somehow remains incredibly addictive, probably thanks to Dan Mora’s stunning artwork.

Once & Future Vol. 2 - Comics by comiXology

The Department of Truth (Vol. 1): The End of the World by James Tynion IV.

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Publisher: Image Comics.
Pages: 144.
Format: Digital Comics.
Rating: ★★★★☆.
COLE TURNER has studied conspiracy theories all his life, but he isn’t prepared for what happens when he discovers that all of them are true, from the JFK Assassination to Flat Earth Theory and Reptilian Shapeshifters. One organization has been covering them up for generations. What is the deep, dark secret behind the Department of Truth?

This was quite ambitious in scope and execution and turned out to be exactly what I was hoping it would turn out to be. Conspiracies and secret organizations working in the shadow to hide a mind-boggling truth? Count me in. The abstract and blurry artwork work perfectly with the cryptic reality-bending narrative.

There’s a lot of pieces that needed to be set before getting to the juicy part but the following volume will surely have the task to push this world’s axis to unexpected frontiers.

The Department of Truth Vol. 1: The End of the World – A Hypnotic and  Horrifying Masterpiece on Conspiracies and Beliefs from Tynion IV, Simmonds  and Bidikar – Broken Frontier

Have you read any of these?

Share your thoughts on anything and everything with me! 😁




28 thoughts on “Digital Mini Reviews | Alternate Realities

  1. I think Soule did the Superman: Doomed run and that storyline from the New52 really didn’t impress, so now whenever I see his name, I immediately veer away.

    Its good to see you back. For me, routine is a wonderful rut to stay in, so I hope you can get back into your routine 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha I think there were other writers on that story arc though. I haven’t read enough by that guy to know how to good/bad he is but he hasn’t annoyed me enough yet. 😛

      Thanks. Yep, I was so annoyed that I couldn’t find time/energy to maintain my blogging schedule during that week but I doubt I’ll let it ever go on a longer hiatus unless I’m in a veeeeeeeery precarious situation. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I read Once & Future vol. 1 and enjoyed granny and the art, but not enough to get vol 2. I’ll be steering clear from Soule, though – never read anything even vaguely good by him 😉 Conspiracy theories, though… Might give them a try 😜

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahahah yes! I saw your thoughts on it on Goodreads. I can’t say that it gets better with the next volume to make it worth your time though. 😛 So interesting that Soule left a sour taste for you. I have maybe only read his Daredevil run? I wasn’t too disappointed when I read it years ago hahah Well then, hope Tynion’s conspiracy series intrigues you enough to give it a try someday though! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love how you connected your current situation with your job to the theme of the blog post in the beginning paragraphs! I haven’t personally read any of these, but in terms of art style, I could see myself pick up Once & Future or The Department of Truth. In general, I think alternate realties are always fun to explore!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Is that Clint Eastwood with the eye patch in Undiscovered Country volume 2?!? 🙂 Though the basic premise behind The Department of Truth doesn’t sound like anything new it does still sound interesting. And I kind of like the artwork. It’s a bit different, but the style works for me. Glad to see you enjoyed the story. And glad to hear about the bodycam trip, sounds like quite an experience, one that perhaps helped educate both sides.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahahahah it’s actually Uncle Sam. 😛 He’s a key character in the story, also a character that easily contributes to the whole “America” concept of this series. 😛

      The artwork of The Department of Truth is exactly what makes the premise seem even better than it is for me hahaha The volume can get confusing but I saw so much promise and potential while reading it. I do look forward to seeing what volume 2 will have to offer next though.

      Well said. It was indeed educating for both parties and hopefully a training that will help them complete the pilot project without too much difficulty! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “sometimes you’re so used to your own routine that you look for ways to escape it” << Lol SO true! I had to laugh because that's how I felt the past couple months.
    Undiscovered Country is on my TBR. I forgot my initial reason for adding it, but there's something about its concept that piqued my interest. I'll lower my expectations a bit going in.
    Oh man! I'm def getting to Once & Future sometime this year because of that granny.
    And I'm curious about Department of Truth. Saw it on a recent visit to the comic bookshop. Was turned off by the art but still curious about the story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha no wonder you’re on so many awesome adventures lately! 😛

      As long as you know that it’s quite over-the-top, you should have some fun with Undiscovered Country! 😀 It’s also very… American. 😛

      She’s definitely a cool character although she’s not always there. At least the art and the mythology-heavy narrative should appeal to you a lot! 😀

      Oh yes, the artwork is unique. I found that it fit with the story and gave it its own identity though. I’d recommend trying an issue at least, just to see how you feel about it. Or to try it out if you’re curious enough! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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