Manifest Destiny #21
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Chris Dingess
Pencils, Cover: Matthew Roberts
Inks: Tony Akins & Stefano Gaudiano
Colours: Owen Gieni
Lettering: Pat Brosseau
In issue #20 of Manifest Destiny, the Lewis and Clark expedition found some very peculiar, huge one-eyed skulls in a hut abandoned three years earlier by a similar expedition; they also see the remains of an arch like those that, when standing, signal the presence of some kind of unnatural creature. What we know (and Lewis and Clark may be guessing) is that the men on whose traces they are ended up recurring to cannibalism to survive a freezing winter.
We go back to that previous expedition through the journal of Captain Helm, who led it. While reflecting, he met the ghost of a man called Maldonado, the member of a Spanish expedition who died in that area. The spirit points Helm at a gigantic, one-eyed (and apparently vegetarian) beast, that according to Maldonado is good food. Helms kills it, and it proves delicious.
Back in Manifest Destiny’s present, a former captive turned soldier, Bullock, is arguing with two of the men. Suddenly, a creature identical to the one we saw Helm kill in the flashback assaults him.
This issue opens back in Captain Helm’s days: the officer is trying to persuade his men to partake of the meat of the monster he just killed, but they seem suspicious. When they finally try it, though, they become pretty much hooked as it tastes so good.
In the present, the two men who were accompanying (and arguing with) Bullock try to kill the monster, but they realise that its skin is bulletproof.
Another adventure, another monster. What keeps Manifest Destiny interesting, then? First of all, the relationship between the characters. Both in the story’s present and in the flashbacks, every interaction is carefully structured and designed by the creative team, sign of a great writer, of course, but also of a great artist, who can make all the different facial expressions and reactions come alive.
So, in short, Manifest Destiny is a fun adventure series. Additionally, its insights into human nature make it even more interesting.