Review: Manifest Destiny #12

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Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Chris Dingess
Art, Cover: Matthew Roberts
Colours: Owen Gieni
Lettering: Pat Brosseau

In the previous issue of Manifest Destiny, the expedition finally managed to get rid of the frog-like creature that was trapping half of the men on shore and the other half on the boat. In this book, life for them goes back to normal. If normality involves meeting and killing huge monsters – and apparently it does. And then, they meet a tribe of apparently peaceful Otoe natives. Luckily, Sacagawea is able to act as an interpreter between them.

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This twelfth issue seems to be a transitional one, focussed much more on character development than on adventure and fights with dangerous creatures. We get to see, in a flashback in which we even get to meet President Jefferson, how Lewis and Clarke were picked to lead the expedition; we hear what Sacagawea is really thinking about the whole affair; we see how former Corporal (now Private) Hardy is carrying on after losing a leg and all his respect.

Chris Dingess’s storytelling remains exceptional even with this slightly less action-packed story, highlighting how men who have been facing incredible, monstrous creatures every day start to get used to them and find them “normal”. In a way.

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Matthew Roberts’s art is once again exceptional, full of interesting small details that may escape a quick reader but that are worthy a second (and third) look. Owen Gieni’s colours, full of hues and touches of brilliancy, add to the quality.

Manifest Destiny keeps growing, and finally we find out a little more about the main characters’ backgrounds – which helps us, retrospectively, to understand some of their actions and decisions. Including the reason why they accepted to lead that expedition.

An extremely entertaining and interesting read, with brilliant art that only adds to the pleasure.

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