Review: Manifest Destiny #1

Review of: Manifest Destiny #1
Product by:
Chris Dingess

Manifest Destiny #1

Reviewed by:
On November 13, 2013
Last modified:November 13, 2013


Manifest Destiny is one of the strongest debut issues I’ve seen in a good while.

In 1804, Captain Meriwether Lewis and Second Lieutenant William Clark set out on an expedition to explore the uncharted American frontier. This is the story of what they discovered lurking in the wilds… Skybound’s newest original series unveils the monsters of the western frontier in the adventure of a lifetime by writer CHRIS DINGESS (Being Human) and up-and-coming artist MATTHEW ROBERTS.

A brand new series from Skybound launches this week called Manifest Destiny. The new comic is a historical fiction tale about the journey of Lewis and Clark. The story is written by Chris Dingess (SyFy’s Being Human) with art from Matthew Roberts and Owen Gieni. Historical fiction stories are usually hit and miss, but which is Manifest Destiny?

Captain Meriwether Lewis and Second Lieutenant William Clark have been tasked by President Jefferson with exploring the Louisiana territory to map out the new land acquired by the country.  Their task is to map the territory and collects samples and make sketches of the plant and animal life of the area. That’s what the official story is at least. In actuality the two men and the crew they have assembled are supposed to hunt down monsters and face the threats lurking in the wild. Lewis and Clark are the only two that know the truth behind their trip, but some of the unsavory mercenaries they brought along are starting to piece things together. When an unexplainable creature emerges from the woods, everyone realizes they signed up for more than they bargained for. Can Lewis and Clark keep the expedition going? How dangerous is this unexplored territory?

Dingess writes a fantastic story. Historical fiction is a tough sale. A lot of times things are more historical fact then fiction, or in the other cases everything is too goofy and slapstick. Dingess writes a pretty serious story exploring some pretty fantastical things. Lewis is the smart, journal keeping gentler soul whereas Clark is a military man. They make a good team. The art for the book is absolutely stellar. The smooth line work and detailed settings make you feel like you’re really looking at a young America. The character work is fantastic. This is one of the most visually pleasing new series I’ve seen in some time. The color work is bright and vibrant while still keeping things fairly realistic all things considered.

Bottom Line: Manifest Destiny is one of the strongest debut issues I’ve seen in a good while. Dingess sets things up and then has the payoff come in the final few pages. Things look to be going in an interesting new direction. If you’re a fan of the genre, you’re going to love this one. 4.5/5

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