Obscurity of DC Presents: Ultra-bscure Book Club, Week 33 (July 30-August 5) --- UNFOLLOW Pt. 2

Welcome, @ObscurityofDCClub and other members of the DC Community! Welcome to Obscurity of DC’s thirty-third Ultr-Obscure Book Club! This week, we’ll be focusing on the next volume of…


Number of Books: 1 (We’re only reading Vol. 2 this week)

Description from dcuniverseinfinite.com: A dying social media mogul leaves his billions to be split evenly between 140 random people-or however many of them are still alive at the moment of his death. This sharp, thrilling look at life in the digital age assembles a cast that includes a young black man trying to get by in St. Louis, an Iranian reporter in need of hope, a retired special forces soldier with a strange sense of purpose, and a thrill-seeking heiress-and shows us that we’re all still part of the food chain.

Now that that’s over with, here are some discussion questions:

  1. How does “Unfollow Vol 2” continue the themes introduced in the first volume? Are there any new themes or motifs that emerge in this installment?
  2. Discuss any unexpected plot twists or revelations that occurred in the second volume. How did these elements contribute to the overall narrative? Please remember to use spoilers.
  3. Compare the pacing and tone of “Unfollow Vol 2” with the first volume. Did you find any differences in the way the story unfolded or the emotions it evoked?
  4. Consider the setting of the story in “Unfollow Vol 2.” How does the environment or location contribute to the overall atmosphere and events of the book?
  5. Why do you think the title of the volume is “God Is Watching?”

Do you have an interest in exploring the unknown? Do you like discussing comics? Do you like pineapple on pizza? If so, The Obscurity of DC Club is the club for you! Join HERE if you’re interested!


I think it primarily continues the established themes of celebrity, desire to be seen/heard, coming with life, and elitist puppetmastery. There are slight shifts in focus. The only real new motif that emerges is the supernatural angle becoming more solid, and less of a crazy character’s perception. (Specifically, the leopard and the mask.)

When I first read this as it came out, I presumed the story would stay on the island the whole time, maybe exposing some backstories. So my big surprise was actually at the end of issue 6 when they flee the island. I’m not sure there’s any big twist or revelation in volume 2. I certainly didn’t anticipate the three threads we are following, but I wouldn’t call them twists or revelations.

I support the closest things would be

  • The first Chirp from @theMaskNotRubinstein
    • I actually didn’t notice until this time through (read three) that Rubinstein isn’t so much explaining that the mask screamed by itself, but is genuinely realizing that it did. This is perhaps his turning point where he realizes that he is not only not in control, but potentially not as insane as he thought he was.
  • Courtney getting to the end of The Humans and realizing/exposing Akira’s true intentions, though once that’s exposed the fact that nobody responds to her warnings is absolutely not unexpected.

Pace was a bit different, as mentioned, since I expected the whole story to stay on the island. Tone was a very similar “natural horrors of human nature” vibe, but gently turning a handful of our “victims” (of their own hubris) into the heroes rising against the “true” villains.

On the surface, I don’t think it does. I mean, its not Ferris’ island any more, but I think a lot of other locations could have been swapped out for Yakushima and the Caspian Sea. Its more about the balance between them as the two sanctuaries chosen by the characters we’re following. Yakushima is seen as a natural preserve of beauty and wonder (and is protected by UNESCO as both a Man and Biosphere Preserve as well as a World Heritage Site), while the mobster island off Kazakhstan is seen as largely barren and inhospitable. Historically, the former hasn’t had much military action despite being settled since at least 14,000 BC, while the latter has gone back and forth between empires, being annexed and separated since at least the Median empire era, all in common with the respective leaders’ dispositions.

Which is sort of the complete opposite of what we end up getting - a mass murder via long con manipulation in the paradise, and a clarity of vision and purpose of the least likely leader in the wasteland.

Because it was the title of issue 9. :wink:

Simplistically, it’s pulled from Akira’s Chirp at the beginning of said issue, at the conclusion of his “deep thoughts” about the surveillance state of willingly being tracked by large corporations who brand us as their followers, making our chosen brand our one true god (of commerce).

This is of course layered on top of imagery of Rubinstein getting dressed just after the reveal that the mask is truly talking to him and, as we later learn, can “see” things happening around the globe, even where there are no phones, so perhaps it is god. But it still needs Rubinstein to find Akira, so its not an omniscient god.

On top of that layer, the specific Chirp immediately follows Rubinstein receiving a news notification of Ferrel’s death immediately followed by a Chirper notification of a new follower (his first), whom we never get confirmation of, but is heavily implied from the conclusion of the issue. Heavy imagery with Rubinstein’s screen saver being an eye that watches underscores the simplistic “the phone is god and the phone is watching” Narrative. But the message and implied follower itself digs into the concept toyed with in the first Volume, where Ferrel is not so much just a “watching god” but playing god with people, manipulating them to prove his point, and presuming (correctly) that at least some of them will take it upon themselves to play god with the lives of their fellow 140.

And then we get a few pages into issue 10 and shift to full on god-vs-god. Both characters are watching the 140 “experiment” play out, believing that they are in control of the narrative, determining the “lesson” the world will learn from the allegory. One is sitting back letting people believe that he doesn’t exist, secure in the knowledge that he is cruel but benevolent, and in complete control, while the other undergoes self imposed transformative journeys to become Jesus/Buddha, determined to ensure the story he created end the way he envisioned; with him as the one true savior. NARRATIVE DEATHMATCH COMMENCE.


Another set of great answers from @keath

1 Like