The POP Cover Of The Week is a mysterious slice of Americana: Undiscovered Country #3.

Undiscovered Country #3, Image Comics, Cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli.

"Undiscovered Country #3" cover art by Giuseppe Camuncoli

This POP Cover Of The Week is from a comic that’s getting a lot of attention these days. Not only is it a bestseller for Image, it’s also in the middle of a bidding war for tv/movie development.

Undiscovered Country is a near future tale of a group of scientists seeking a cure for a global pandemic. They want to look into the country that mysteriously and suddenly walled itself off from the rest of the world decades ago…the United States of America.

The cover logo by Mauro Corradini is a riff on the American flag, with the stars from the Stars and Stripes vacating the flag and racing across the logotype, leaving streaks in their wake. It’s a clever metaphor and dichotomy for a nation breaking apart in its own isolation.

So far, the covers have all been red, white, and blue compositions, and issue #3 is the best of the bunch. In what appears to be a vast red warehouse, artifacts and Americana are stored: vintage gas pumps, the head of Lincoln from his Washington Memorial, the Liberty Bell, a Wurlitzer jukebox, Bob’s Big Boy, signage, vehicles, and much more, stored in bright white bays. At the end of the room is a huge viewscreen or monitor, with a deep blue night sky filled with stars. Put them all together as cover artist Giuseppe Camuncoli has done, and it’s a depiction of the American flag. This entire facility and its contents represent the parts of America. But where are the people?

The comic's title is taken from Hamlet, who described death as "an undiscovered country whose bourne no travelers return." With the subject of the book being a global pandemic, it seems assured that we are to take Hamlet's reference literally, but for whom? The entire earth, or will it just be the group of travelers/scientists who are never to return from exploring the "undiscovered country" of the former USA?

Find out what’s really going on behind this POP Retro Cover Of The Week when Undiscovered Country #3 goes on sale Wednesday, January 15, 2010.

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