Review: Manifest Destiny #19

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ManifestDestiny19_cover

Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Chris Dingess
Pencils, Cover: Matthew Roberts
Inks: Stefano Gaudiano & Tony Akins
Colours: Owen Gieni
Lettering: Pat Brosseau
Alternative Cover: James Harren

In issue #18 of Manifest Destiny, we had left the Lewis & Clarke expedition after they massacred all of the Fezron, a race of big, talking (and quite civilized) blue birds with whom they had reached a peace agreement.

We return to the series with this issue #19, that opens a new story arc; for once, the title of the new arc is on the cover: Sasquatch. Well, at least we know what will be the “monster of the arc”. Maybe.

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This issue of Manifest Destiny opens with another flashback to November 1801 (the main story is set in 1804), that we follow through notes in a diary; the men are building a shelter for the winter. Unfortunately, they only have food for some weeks, maybe a month. At least, none of the arches that marked the presence of dangerous, unnatural creature can be found or seen around. Soon, the men start seeing a shadow moving around their hut…

So, in the first few pages of this new story arc we don’t even meet our main characters. Will this mean that Manifest will move its focus to the 1801 expedition, or will the destiny of the Lewis & Clarke expedition be linked to the fate of their predecessors? Some of the answers can already be found in this issue.

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Chris Dingess, as usual, is great at giving each character quite some depth, even when they appear only in a few panels; Matthew Roberts (and inkers Stefano Gaudiano and Tony Akins) makes them easily recognisable, and Owen Gieni’s colours give a majestic aura to everything.

Seldom a letterer is praised in a review, but Pat Brosseau here reproduces the two diaries (you’ll see what I’m talking about if you read Manifest Destiny) with nice, period handwriting – besides a perfectly professional “regular” lettering for the dialogues, of course.

This issue doesn’t have too much adventure or surprises, although there are a couple of very interesting moments, but it is a nice way to get into Manifest Destiny: give it a try!

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