Manifest Destiny #1
By Chris Dingess, Matthew Roberts, & Owen Gieni.
Manifest Destiny is a new book that follows two of the most famous characters in American history, Lewis and Clark. The two explorers are on a mission investigating the new world beyond the Mississippi river, as well as fight the monsters living in the wild and clear the country for the expansion of the nation.
As a whole, the story starts off right away with the building of suspense and an air of mystery. The book is so enamored in the mystery behind the mission that the two characters are on, however, that by the second conversation that is focused on the real nature of the mission it feels stale and overdone. Chris Dingess is trying extremely hard to cultivate a suspenseful storyline, even though he’s beating the reader over the head with it.
The characters of Lewis and Clark aren’t very exciting either. When I am reading a book that revolves around historical figures, something has to be done to ensure that the figures don’t stay mired in their historical selves. Something has to be added to make them exciting and fit within the context that they are put into. Dingess hasn’t added anything like that to Lewis and Clark that would make them stand out in this world he has created. The story could have stood on its own without the two famous explorers.
The art for this book was definitely a saving grace. Matthew Roberts is incredibly detailed, and does a fantastic job of creating life like backdrops for the action to play against. While the colors weren’t as subdued as they could have been, the tones and hues gave a natural feel to the panels, emphasizing the fact that the two explorers are in the middle of the wilderness. There were some instances where facial expressions were a bit out of proportion, but otherwise the art maintained a strong presence in the telling of the story, and it definitely stood out on its own.
While this wasn’t a completely strong first issue there is the potential to grow this book into a suspenseful, supernatural mystery. It’s all up to the direction that Dingess chooses to go.