Monday, 21 July 2014

Manifest Destiny #8 Review (Chris Dingess, Matthew Roberts, Owen Gieni)


Even though it’s filled with giant toads, plant zombies, buffalotaurs, and tons of other monsters that’ll kill any and all humans they come across, I wish I could holiday in Manifest Destiny. The art team of Matthew Roberts on pencils and Owen Gieni on colours make the unsettled American frontier look so goddamn beautiful!

Lewis and Clark’s expedition has hit a snag – or an underwater arch to be more accurate. Their ship is now stuck in the middle of a river and can’t get free. Worse – as they try returning to the ship, Clark and nearly half the crew are thrown into the monster-ridden river! After they swim to nearby land, the crew becomes divided between Lewis’ group on the ship and Clark’s on the shore. Clark’s group start trying desperately to get back to the ship using zip-lines – with disastrous results. And with still more monsters are on the way, paradise is about to become blood-soaked!

You know how you survive in a horror movie? You stay together – separating only means imminent doom. And that’s exactly what’s happens to Lewis and Clark’s expedition, heightening the dramatic tension. Just as I was thinking the trip downriver was feeling a bit stale, writer Chris Dingess livens things up by dividing up the cast and putting them both in danger – a superb choice that instantly spices up the story!

After the crew suffers another loss when the rudimentary zip-line proves a no-go (in a sequence I’m not sure was supposed to be funny but made me laugh anyway!), Clark attempts to take his group’s mind off of things by sending them into the unknown forest to collect samples for Lewis and his group to examine. When you go down to the woods today, you’re in for a big surprise… that’s right, another sumptuously designed monster is waiting for them!

After daydreaming about holidaying in unspoiled monster land, I thought that Manifest Destiny would make for an amazing TV show. It’s this wonderful blend of adventure, action, fantasy, and horror with such great characters, imaginatively-created antagonists, cinematic backdrop, and a fast-moving plot with huge potential, that it would easily be a hit on AMC or HBO if either decided to pick it up and throw their support behind it. Even if they don’t though, we’ve still got these great comics, but what rich material to make a TV show out of!

Manifest Destiny #8 is another fine issue from Chris Dingess, Matthew Roberts and Owen Gieni. Part of this title’s brilliance is that while Lewis, Clark and Sacagawea are the main characters, they’re able to make the stories featuring the supporting cast as interesting because the world they’ve created that engages all of them is so enthralling. Once again, incredible art, awesome creature designs, and great work all round from these guys. Manifest Destiny continues to impress.

Manifest Destiny #8

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