Comic Book Review – Manifest Destiny #1


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Manifest Destiny #1
Writer: Dingess, Chris
Artist: Roberts, Matthew
Cover Artist: Roberts, Matthew
On Sale Date: November 13, 2013
Publisher: Image Comics

My shortboxes have developed an infection of Image number ones, and for a while there it was touch and go. For every Chew, Saga or Manhattan Projects that came out, there were platoons of numero unos that marched straight into a cold bag & board, never again to be reunited with their higher-numbered brethren. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading new IP as much as the next nerd, but it’s easy to become lost in the never-ending current of first issues image publishes.

So expectations played a role in my reading of Manifest Destiny #1, a Lewis and Clark tale by way of the Odyssey. I’m quite happy to report said expectations were easily surpassed. The book is a hit, with an inspired concept, excellent art and nimble dialogue that’s engaging and seems true too, but not mired in, the timeframe of the story.

We start with Lewis bemoaning the lack of action on their voyage into the wild frontier of America, scribbling his disappointment into his ledger. Their crew is a mish-mash of soldiers and criminals, all unaware of what their true mission is: kill the (supposed) demons and monsters that inhabit the unexplored wilderness. The issue expertly fleshes out our two main characters, reveals the internal antagonist of the crew, and ends with the realization that the legends and lore of this brave new world may, in fact be more truthful than expected. The issue never seems too heavy on exposition, the pace is brisk, and the characters are unique but understandable. It avoids the trappings of the over-weird and teases just enough to warrant an immediate re-reading. Robert’s art also takes center stage, his facial expressions are top-notch and the gnarled carcass of a felled beast drips with almost palpable gore.

(Bonus points for the amazing variant cover by Ryan Ottley).

Manifest Destiny has done an excellent job of distinguishing itself among the horde of number ones clamoring for our attention. Expect it to go to a second printing and be sure to look out for issue two!

I give it 3.5 out of 5 Nerdskulls.

For a second opinion, check out Cubby’s review of Manifest Destiny as well:

If you’ve read it let us know what you think in the comments below!
Special thanks to Image Comics.
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I'm a true child of the 80s from a small town near Cleveland, Ohio. My all time favorite topics are Star Wars, slasher films and Cleveland sports (despite the misery it causes). I narrowly avoided law school, instead choosing film school. I have been accused of being a walking IMDB, but I take it as a compliment!