Graphic Novel Review 27/365: Manifest Destiny – Pull List Week!

Please keep up with all of my old Graphic Novel Reviews as I quest for 365 in 365 days here.

Kicking it old school with a title that I’ve been collecting since I’ve gotten back into single-issue comics:

Title: Manifest Destiny

Author: (Team) Chris Dingess, Matthew Roberts, and Owen Gieni.

Publisher: Image Comics (2013-current)

Rating: 17+

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Manifest Destiny is an Image Comics release that tells an alternate story of Lewis and Clark’s journey west, exploring and searching the unknown.  The reader quickly discovers that the west is littered with creatures and monsters, and these creatures and monsters are not friendly.  The crew is comprised of men that have nothing to lose: prisoners, men with no family, ect., and when they discover that they have this in common, as you can imagine, tempers erupt at their thought of being an almost fully expandable crew.

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The book has gone in some interesting directions, and the creature construction will surprise you.  In fact, the discovered creatures are my favorite part of the book!  Talking birds, huge frogs, cyclops, extreme bugs…you never know what antagonist is on the horizon.  Some of the characters are fun, but I’m in it for the next monster.  I have a couple of slight criticisms of the book.  A lot of the characters look the same, so you may get confused as to who or what is going on at times.  And while some people might dig this, I don’t exceptionally care for a character or plot point being part of the mix and then tossed aside until later in the book, but that’s one of the things that I don’t like about Game of Thrones either.  If my story is going to be complex, I like it to be centralized to the moment.  I’m not a fan of waiting through long development and constant parallel editing for my payoff.  It for sure happens more in GOT than here, but there is a little of that.  However, this book is not for the classroom, unless you are using specific sections, so you can let the story develop at your own pace.  Also, as I’m reading this book by single issue, I’d suggest this one in trade form and not single issue.  More story at a time keeps one focused and reading…and you don’t have to open each single issue bag and board. #nerdproblems

This is unlike any other book I have ever read though.  Set around 1800, having a group of men fighting and surviving monsters on an undiscovered American west?  OK.  I also like alternative history books, and I know it’s a popular gene, so if you also dig alternative history, check this one out.  These guys put in their work on this complex book, and Image Comics has a winner here.  This book should be much more popular than it is.

Happy reading!

Eric

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