Published by Image, November 2013
Story: Chris Dingess
Art: Matthew Roberts
Color: Owen Gieni
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Synopsis: Well first off I’m a history buff so when I heard that Image was going to release a comic centering around the Lewis and Clark Expedition I was intrigued. The historical venture took place in 1804 and was commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson soon after the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. The primary objective assigned to this expedition was the exploration and mapping of the newly acquired territory allowing for the United States to establish a presence before any other European powers had a chance to lay claim to the territory.
With that what we have here in Manifest Destiny is a twisted alternate reality of history. Lewis and Clark are still commissioned for the journey by President Thomas Jefferson but are instead tasked with destroying monsters and clearing the way for expansion of the United States. Monsters? Well to further the intrigue we have mercenaries and convicts as the bulk of the group accompanying the expedition instead of the historically accurate U.S. Army volunteers. So besides having a high percentage of volatile maniacs amongst the crew it seems like a pretty normal expedition.
That’s where things get weird when the group comes upon a massive object that I’d rather not spoil for you. From there we take a turn from the normal to the freaking weird. And from there we get an idea of who and where some of the crew came from while Lewis studies this mysterious find. Anyways the ending is a cliffhanger making one wish for more and yes, I’m looking forward to more.
Panel/Layout: Right from the get-go we have a cover that expresses the overall tone of the adventure. I actual took a few and stared at all the monsters making up the ground that Lewis and Clark were unbeknownst to looking out over the valley. The book has a standard layout and I didn’t have any problems with the overall flow of the story while flipping through the pages. Whatever paper Image have been using as of late I hope they keep it up, love the way it feels; not glossy or thin like Marvels.
Verdict: Yes, I would highly recommend picking this book up as soon as you can. I feel like the heat is on as the 1st and 2nd printings have sold out and the 1st issue and the 1st printing is already commanding around $15-20 on eBay right now. What makes this a truly memorable book is the concept of taking a significant event in our nation’s history and twisting it in such a way that makes it simply fascinating. I graduated from Astoria where you can find Lewis and Clark history all around you, from landmarks to the fort, and officially marked trails traveled by the two. So for me I know a lot about the expedition but what I don’t know is this alternate universe that Chris and Matthew have concocted. I’m looking forward to seeing what they do with actual events in this series.
Official Site: Manifest Destiny