Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Chris Dingess
Artist: Matthew Roberts
Release Date: 13th November 2013
Inserting a fictional aspect into an already well-established historical tale isn’t necessarily a new approach in the comicbook world, but rarely have I seen it implemented as well as it is with Manifest Destiny.
Writer Chris Dingress’ approach here is an extremely well-measured one as he allows the characters and the setting to be built up slowly, gradually separating the world we’re experiencing from the one of the history books. This isn’t a tacky, clichéd “Lewis and Clark versus Monsters” romp, but rather a remarkably restrained tale that still manages to feel utterly true to the era it’s representing.
The artwork also does a terrific job in telling the story, with Matthew Roberts’ detailed approach to the facial expressions of the main characters providing an added level of drama to the proceedings. Roberts also adopts an extremely cinematic approach to the shocking reveal that makes up the last few pages of the book, managing to avoid the potential pitfall of ‘giving the game away too soon’ with his skillful framing.
With the groundwork firmly established in this first issue, it’s clear that there’s going to be a lot more to this tale than initially meets the eye, and with the other members of the crew potentially posing as much of a threat to the historic expedition as the unexpected ‘wildlife’, the potential seems near-limitless when it comes to nudging this story forwards.
Manifest Destiny is definitely a new title that’s worth getting in on the ground floor of, and looks set to provide an interesting, extremely creative take on a well-established tale. Highly recommended.
The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson (aka Ceej)
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