After being gone for one entire month (and what a long month it was), here’s the latest issue of Manifest Destiny! I’m quite excited to see where this latest issue goes now, especially since it seems like it’ll be focusing on Sacajawea. Is it good?
Manifest Destiny #12 (Image Comics)
In this issue, we follow up with Lewis & Clark’s expedition after their dealing with the killer giant frog and continue to watch them as they go about their journey. They don’t seem to run into too much trouble on their way and things seem to be going fine for them all. Then, they encounter the Otoe Tribe and decide to meet with them.
Frankly, they look more like boogers if you ask me.
This issue was a bit of an epilogue/fill-in in some ways. There aren’t really any advancements with the story going on here and we are just catching up with all of the characters after the arc’s big wrap-up last time. We see how they are doing, follow up on a few minor subplots, and other miscellany, but the story doesn’t go anywhere for the most part. However, what the issue does have is strong characterization and backstory. We finally get a look into what motivated Lewis & Clark into leading this expedition and see what they were like before all of this. We also see some minor developments with a few crew members and people aboard that help add a bit more characterization and personality to them. Not a whole lot, but just enough to give them more dimensions. This all made for quite a satisfying read.
Of course, Chris Dingess’ writing was no slouch here either. The story was well-paced and structured, never feeling too slow or too quick. Despite the story sort of being filler, it was quite engaging and interesting to watch unfold. All the small details about what was going on was nice and the entire meeting with the Indian tribe was solid; calm but also tense. The dialogue and narration were also solid, helping add to the characterization and delivering on some great lines. The ending was especially good, with the eerie final words exchanged between everyone and how nervous it makes you feel for the fate of everyone involved. While not as action-packed or horrific as previous issues, there are still some creepy moments that stick out, even if they are glossed over (not that the moment being glossed over is bad, but you kind of want to know the context for the scene after seeing it).
The artwork was great as usual. The characters were drawn very well, very expressive and showing a wide range of emotions. Having that wide range especially helped with the more character-focused and driven issue this ended up being, helping capture the characters’ emotional states and feelings throughout. The layouts were solid and flowed well from one to the next without error. Most panels had backgrounds to them, with certain exceptions to emphasize a bit of action or tension with the colors. Of course, the imagery and creativity were solid as always, providing some great and beautiful shots throughout (even if some were only on one entire page). Another fantastic looking issue.
Is It Good?
Manifest Destiny #12 didn’t have much happening in the story this time around, but it made up for it easily with some strong writing, great characterization and development, and the usual level of hauntingly gorgeous artwork. The next arc is just around the corner and I can’t wait to see where this adventure takes us next.