After being away for quite a while, it’s time to return to Manifest Destiny just as it finishes out its third arc. Let’s see what Chris Dingess has up his sleeves for the ending. Is it good?
Manifest Destiny #18 (Image Comics)
The expedition now has the Vameter in its sights, a vicious and bloodthirsty monster (like something out of Jeepers Creepers sans the fixation with little boys). The Vameter starts picking the group off and rapidly healing thereafter, making for a very powerful adversary. Will they be able to survive?
The finale to the third arc of Manifest Destiny closes out with a moment of triumph and celebration, but then on a tragic and harsh note. It’s an ending that makes sense logically given how everything has been built up over the course of the past few issues and the basic idea of what expedition is all about. It may not be what people are hoping for, though for some who found the presence of the blue monsters out of place or tonally off with the comic (which they are at times), this ending may work for them more. It also leaves you wondering how this will affect some of the characters down the line, especially considering how damaged some of them already are.
You could set a good example sir by reloading your own gun.
The writing overall is still very good and over the course of the arc (now that I reread everything in one go instead of having to wait months on end), there have been improvements. There have been strong developments with the characters, like us getting to see another side to Lewis and background characters such as Collins being more fully fleshed out. It’s great seeing the cast become more three-dimensional as it allows for the ending to have more weight. The dialogue is still decent and the pacing is also good. The only issues I have with Manifest Destiny #18 are with two plot points that felt oddly dropped — there was the mutiny and growing tension between the captains and crew members (it was relevant for about half of the arc then just sort of stopped with no more mention of it) and two one-page flashbacks to a previous expedition that was in two prior issues. It’s possible the comic will get back to these points, but it felt odd that these plotlines just disappeared after a while.
Lastly, we turn Matthew Roberts’ artwork and it still looks great. His layouts are put together well, his action scenes are fluid, the design of the creatures that plague our heroes are still impressive and it’s nice to have the Vameter’s creepy and nightmarish design contrast against the cuddly/cute looking bird monsters that seem like they belong in an Ewok cartoon (seriously, they and their whole village scream Ewok). There’s not a whole lot to say that has been said about the artwork that hasn’t already, but Roberts churns out some great looking art.
Is It Good?
Manifest Destiny #18 brings the latest storyline to a very natural, but depressing ending that fits the comic perfectly. The writing and artwork are both very solid and the strong characterization this time around really helps bolster the issue even further. Despite some minor story complaints, this was a great issue and I’m very curious for what happens next.