Manifest Destiny #25
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Chris Dingess
Pencils: Matthew Roberts
Inks: Tony Akins and Stefano Gaudiano
Colours: Owen Gieni
Lettering: Pat Brosseau
Manifest Destiny reaches issue #25, and celebrates the milestone with a pretty spectacular cover featuring (almost) all the monsters encountered by the expedition until now. Does this have something to do with the story in this book, though? Let’s find out.
In issue #24 that concluded the story arc entitled Sasquatch (despite the fact that the presence of the sasquatch was not really central to the plot after all), we understood why the Teton natives seemed quite wary of the men in the Lewis and Clark expedition: three years earlier, they had welcomed in their tribe Captain Helm, the last survivor of another expedition. But Helm was possessed by a spirit that, after some time, pushed him to attack the natives and flee. We also find out why, really, Clark accepted to led the Corps of Discovery: the President had personally invited him to meet Helm himself, kept captive as he became a danger to himself and to others. Clark also saw a sasquatch skull, although he thought it had belonged to a native with a severe birth defect.
Issue #25 opens with the men working hard to complete the fort they will spend the winter in. Lewis goes back to his studies, while the soldiers start having a pretty regular routine. Everything seems fine. If we learnt anything from past issues of Manifest Destiny, however, is that something freaky is always on its way…
Additionally, to celebrate the milestone reached, at the end of the issue there is a short but very nice bonus story, a flashback on Sacagawea’s formative years that explains a lot about her character.
Manifest Destiny is a very interesting story, seamlessly mixing history and fantasy, the expedition’s issues with the natives and their scary encounters with the various monsters.
The art is always extremely interesting, well supported by a clever choice of colours that makes this issue, in which many scenes happen in the thick fog, stand out.
It’s admirable how, after 25 issues, writer and series creator Chris Dingess still manages to find something original to threaten his characters with. This time, it’s… different. And different is good!
This issue, then, could be a pretty good one to start reading the series. Everything seems quiet and nice, as if everything was finally going right for the expedition… the perfect moment to spring another surprise.