Review: Manifest Destiny #15

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

Issue #14 of Manifest Destiny opened with the men finding, near another of the huge arcs, a relatively small but incredibly fierce blue bird, that they manage to subdue and capture, taking it (alive) on the ship for analysis. The animal, that is very aggressive with the men and women, seems perfectly at ease with Seaman, the ship’s dog.

We saw, during the night, a huge bird (that vaguely reminds of the one captive on the ship) grabs the man on guard duty and takes him away unnoticed. His disappearance is interpreted by some of the men as desertion, and they start discussing mutiny. To stop this, Lewis challenges a representative of the men to hand-to-hand combat, and they pick the hugely muscular Fricke.

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Issue #15 opens with a flashback on the men involved in a previous expedition forced to stare at the corpses of some of their mates, that have been hanged for treason; but they seem ready to revolt. Meanwhile, in the main story, Lewis manages to defeat Fricke with a neat trick. His discussion with Clarke, that follows the fistfight, is interrupted by a strange voice, coming from…

Manifest Destiny author Chris Dingess is still ramping up the weird in this series. I won’t anticipate what we see at the end of this very issue, but it is something completely unexpected. Sure, everything in this series is, but this is even more… out there. In a good way.

Matthew Roberts’s art is once again spectacular, with the characters’ expressions, the backgrounds and the landscapes all worth spending some time just staring at. The spectacularly creepy cover is a perfect example of his style, but it is far from displaying everything Roberts (and colourist Owen Gieni) can do.

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Pat Brosseau’s lettering deserves a special mention. In Manifest Destiny, besides the characters’ dialogues, we also read excerpts from diaries; and they are beautifully crafted, well imitating the handwriting style of the period.

Manifest Destiny is a really interesting series, that seems to be moving towards even bigger surprises. Well worth buying!

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