Manifest Destiny #24
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Chris Dingess
Pencils: Matthew Roberts
Inks: Tony Akins and Stefano Gaudiano
Colours: Owen Gieni
Lettering: Pat Brosseau
Issue #23 of Manifest Destiny showed us how captain Helm was the only survivor of his expedition, that predated Lewis and Clark’s by three years: at the end, him and colonel Flewelling were forced by a creature calling itself Navath to fight to the death, and Helm killed his superior officer, walking then towards civilisation with Flewelling’s severed head as his only company – until a wolf stole it. Meanwhile, Lewis and Clark meet the Teton, a hostile tribe that they manage to assuage with a huge offer of tobacco. Their hostility seems to be caused by something that happened in the past, when they met “one man filled with destruction”. And immediately we flash back to the same Teton watching Helm’s senseless (but not lifeless) body…
The present issue, that concludes the story arc entitled “Sasquatch” (even though we haven’t seen the titular creature since the start of issue #22), opens with the members of the Lewis and Clark expedition pleasantly hunting the bison along with the Mandan, a neighbouring tribe. They seem relieved by the fact that the Mandan are peaceful farmers, who didn’t demand any tribute to allow the expedition to spend the winter in the area. We then flash back to Helm, who was welcomed and nursed back to health by the Teton, and found a good life with them. Until…
This issue wraps up a lot of things, and opens more subplots – especially through a flashback towards the end (I won’t give you the details, but it’s to a moment between the end of Helm’s troubles and the start of the Corps of Discovery expedition). We’ll have to wait until January to see what happens next – and how the next story arc will be called. What we know is that issue #25 will feature a special short story about young Sacagawea – which makes me think that she will become even more prominent in Manifest Destiny… or maybe not, she’s just a very interesting character.
Manifest Destiny remains a very interesting series with a strong writing and good art; obviously it’d be pointless to start reading the series from this issue, that concludes a story arc: you’d better start from the beginning of the series, or at least of “Sasquatch”.