Manifest Destiny has entertained me thoroughly through the previous three issues released. I have found the story to be a very nice breath of fresh air in its alternative history telling of the “other” darker side of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, in which the party has dealt with the likes of bison headed minotaur types, virus infected plant zombies, strange formations, and lots of tension building action as the men venture into this large unknown territory that is wild and untamed in every sense of the word. Issue four finds the party trapped at the settlement of La Charette. From the outside, the aforementioned bison men are waiting to feast on man flesh. While inside, the plant zombie infection has taken hold of one of the soldiers with the fear of its green splattery spread weighing heavily on everyone. What to do? What to do? Oh yeah, the person they were supposed to meet at La Charette is not there, and very likely may be dead with all the threats that are around. Things are looking pretty bleak and the issue works to show the reader what happens. The action is free-flowing and satisfying within these pages and I found this one to be the best issue thus far on an already good run.
Matthew Roberts’ artwork has been solidly grounded in the majestic and the macabre. With this issue, he actually turns it up an additional notch that adds a new creepy element to the mix. The end result is that the more intense art works perfectly to match the intensity with which Charles Dingess is pacing the script. It is a perfect flow of suspense and horror tied into a pleasing tale of a historical nature. Dingess holds the reader’s attention with realistic and believable dialogue that utilizes logic and wisdom in dealing with the treats at hand. All of the characters are beginning to have some substance to them with the exception of one who may be infected with the plant virus. (That was supposed to be a joke). Anyway, things are coming together in this story as the rag-tag team of seasoned soldiers and hardened criminals are beginning to recognize what they are into with this expedition. Also, two new characters are introduced that look to figure prominently in coming issues as they may just have some answers to some of the mysteries being encountered. We shall see.
Manifest Destiny has continued to be a solid story with a superb grouping of writing and art making for an interesting tale that breaks away from the spandex and capes crowd that the vast majority of comic titles address. It is a great alternative with Charles Dingess and Matthew Roberts making something quite fresh and new to a world of the mundane. I know that I have been very happy to be reading it. It just keeps getting better and better.
Writer: Charles Dingess Artist: Matthew Roberts Publisher: Image/Skybound Entertainment Price: $2.99 Release Date: 2/12/14