Way back in the day, there was a movie in 1991 that was directed by Academy Award winning director Kathryn Bigelow. Before such classics as The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Bigelow played around in the summer action blockbuster genre and made a little surfer/crime drama called Point Break. It stared Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, and even a fairly sane Gary Busey. And it kicked a lot of ass. Well, it kicked a lot of ass for about half of the film. The second half went all to hell and what was looking like just a super movie, fizzled out as fast as Bodie's final wave ride at the end of this clunker. It was really a pissy deal as the first half showed so much promise before the rug was pulled out from under me. Now why in the world am I even writing about Point Break when this review is about Manifest Destiny? Well, the short answer is that after reading Issue #6 of this highly engaging series, I have been hit with the Point Break feeling all over again. Which really sucks I have to say.
This issue started out as good as you would have wanted a comic to start. The expedition had taken their fight to the mysterious plant zombies and we had as about as good of action sequences as there had been in this comic. The battle is so fierce that the leader/god of the plant zombies captures Lewis and Clark and is about to eat them putting an end to this grand historical expedition before it has really began. There is even some comedy elements here as the plant zombie leader/god drops the guys down with a hallucinogenic drug to allow them peace as he eats of them (hint, Lewis is a freak). This was building to be the best issue of the series. Everything was pointing to a fantastic finish. Then... then... the ending occurred. DAMN! WHAT HAPPENED GUYS? You were standing on the pinnacle of greatness, and then you went all Point Break on me. Ugh.
This issue really was shaping up to the best one yet. Charles Dingess' writing mix of action, adventure and humor had hit the peak. Then, it was over. To say that I was upset with the ending is a huge understatement. I can't say what happened, but it really feels like it was simply too easy. I don't know if I would have been as beat up about it as I am, but this is now the second time that a worthy and powerful adversary was dealt with so quick and without the wrap up deserved of the creatures. I am not sure if it is done on purpose, or if Dingess has something planned that will knock me out. But as for now, I am left just scratching my head.
Despite the Point Break finish, there is still not a thing bad that I can say about Matthew Roberts’ artwork. It has been a perfect blend of bold and bad. In this particular issue, he really does a fantastic job with all the plant zombies and especially the plant zombie leader/god. Even the dream sequences of Lewis and Clark's head trip was quite nice.
Even though I still recommend Manifest Destiny as a good read; this one just didn’t quite hit it. I have been impressed throughout (minus this one) as overall we have had a solid story with a superb grouping of writing and art making for an interesting and entertaining arc. The first half of this Issue continues that, and even enhances that opinion. Just something dropped past the halfway mark that made me wondering why. Here's to hoping that the next half coming soon will be able to drop that ending and begin back to the good things that have worked for it so far.
Writer: Charles Dingess Artist: Matthew Roberts Publisher: Image/Skybound Entertainment Price: $2.99 Release Date: 4/9/14 Format: Ongoing – Print/Digital