Manifest Destiny, Volume 1
by Chris Dingess, Matthew Roberts, and Owen Gieni
Release Date: May 27, 2014
But what the history books don't tell you is the true purpose of Lewis and Clark's journey to the west…
In this imaginative retelling of their famous trek, Lewis and Clark embark on a secret mission under direct orders from President Thomas Jefferson.
They are going to do more than explore the wild frontier: they're going to catalog exotic life and eliminate the monsters that stand in the way of the safe and rapid expansion of the United States."
I had high hopes for this comic, and boy, it delivered!
I assumed a comic that is essentially Lewis and Clark: Monster Hunters, would be creative and wild and just a tad silly. And I got what I wanted and then some.
The story begins with Lewis and Clark, in the early days of their expedition. They have been tasked by Jefferson himself with cataloging any unknown flora and fauna that the crew encounter along the way. And if they meet with any hostility from any of the natives, they are to eradicate the threat to future expansion of the nation. But in this version of their epic journey, it is not human inhabitants that the adventurers are concerned about.
At first, nothing seems out of the ordinary, and they believe their precautions may have been unnecessary. But quickly, it becomes apparent that something is not right in this new world, when the explorers come across a giant arch in the wilderness. It looks like our modern arch in St. Louis, but this is not the same thing- this one is made of dense vegetation, and surely no man could have created it. And once they pass through, they are encountering a variety of unusual species, and they are definitely hostile.
They are set upon by huge buffalo-centaur beasts, and attacked by strange plant life. They manage to meet up with their guide, Sacagawea, and it can't come soon enough, because they have already lost crew members to these beasts, and their guide is probably the only person who can navigate them safely through this territory and help them fight the monsters within.
Sacagawea, in fact, is a total badass, and she makes the party of grown men look like helpless children. And she manages to do this all while pregnant, so she makes for a pretty cool character.
In addition to all of the action and excitement, there are also several funny moments- especially in the dialogues between Lewis and Clark. And the artwork is pretty stunning. So, I give it top marks. I will definitely follow this comic from here on out.