The Manifest Destiny series continues to be perfect for those who love the comic book genre but are not fans of super heroes. Now on its sixth volume, Manifest Destiny details a fictionalized account of Lewis and Clark as they explore America’s new west. Thomas Jefferson tasked them with this exploration, but the premise is that history has it wrong. It wasn’t just to map the area and find a waterway to the Pacific, but also to record and eliminate any super natural creatures posing a threat to future American pioneers.
In this latest volume, Lewis and Clark, as well as their party, have built a fort in order to hunker down during the winter. However, the men grow weary of the leadership, they grow lustful for the few women in the group, and they grow mutinous against the chain of command. To make matters worse, the entity for whom we thought spoke only to Lewis? It’s expanding its influence.
Manifest Destiny began as an adventure comic with touches of horror as it offered both accurate and fictionalized accounts of Lewis and Clark’s travels. However, Chris Dingess has transitioned the book into a psychological thriller as the men are growing stir crazy in their fort, trapped by nature itself, as well as perhaps the supernatural.
Matthew Roberts continues to blend historically accurate scenery with terrifying creatures throughout. The clothing he depicts particularly astounds me. I’d love to know his research methods. It all seems quite meticulous. Furthermore, when violence occurs in this book, it is not for the squeamish. I also appreciate that the colorist, Owen Gieni, has opted to use fairly muted colors to match the eerie tone of isolation and winter. The book once sported vibrant greens and lush vegetation, but no longer. It’s a subtle touch, but a deft one.
I have very much enjoyed this series so far. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes historical fiction, horror, thrillers, and fantasy. Not to worry if you’ve never read a comic book. No one is perfect, and you’ll figure it out quickly. I know you will become hooked on this title.
(Did you enjoy this review? Check out Scott William Foley’s short stories HERE!)