Manifest Destiny #4 by Dingess and Roberts

manifestdestiny4Lewis and Clark are stuck in a fort, surrounded by buffalo-headed minotaur, with vegetable zombies infecting them inside the walls. Their only escape may be back to their ship. But how to get past their enemies?

Manifest Destiny #4
Written by Chris Dingess
Pencils/inks by Matthew Roberts
Image Skybound
February 2014

The fourth issue in this alternative history / fantasy horror series is picking up steam. Not only does it have just enough real history to ground the story, but enough fantasy – just twisted enough – to keep reader’s interest. Last issue we saw an Indian woman attacking the minotaur surrounding the fort. This issue we meet Sacagawea for the first time but with the twist that she is supposed to be pregnant with a child that is somehow very important to the plot.

What I like most about this story is how it’s unclear how the story will unfold but not in the normal we-are-going-to-red-herring-you-to-death way. More like we are actually watching it unfold without explanation and the more we learn the more we want to know more. Well done.

The artwork is well done. The plain dress and earthy backdrops lend credence to the idea that this is a real story; rooted in history. Roberts does a great job with expressions and the pencils and inks are very detailed. The colorist, Owen Gieni, is more a mixed bag. The way he uses colors in lighting is great. They blend well and liven up some blank panels. But the way he uses color in outlines causes some art to fade instead of pop. To be fair this is an issue with quite a lot of current colorists. If you are going to use a heavier shade of the same color, say tan over beige skin color, for one character than you have to do the same non-black outlines on all the pictures on the page. Otherwise, you get a bunch of very strong black borders and then softer, faded borders on other things.(See Invincible Universe #10 for a great example of this.)

Another interesting non-superhero series from Image Skybound reinforcing their stranglehold on niche genre market. It’s definitely worth a look.

Scott Asher is the Managing Editor of He is an avid reader and a lifetime learner. His favorite genres include science fiction, fantasy, as well as theology and Christian living. His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.