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Comic Book Review - Manifest Destiny #1 – Nerds on the Rocks
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Comic Book Review – Manifest Destiny #1


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Manifest Destiny #1
Written by: Chris Dingess
Art by: Matthew Roberts
Colors by: Owen Gieni

Lewis and Clark are on a mission to explore, document and cleanse their way to the west coast of the new world.

Captain Clark takes charge as the man’s man ready to explore with a loaded gun. Captain Lewis is armed with a pen and pad to log each and every new lifeform and organism they come across. These leaders, teamed with a crew of expendables, head into the American wild west – because when the President of the United States tells you to lead a charge across the new land to clear the new frontier of monsters, you do it.

Manifest Destiny #1 is a mixture of alternate reality, action adventure and mythology with a dab of creepiness thrown in. Chris Dingess creates a great blend of all the things that make going on an adventure both exciting and dangerous. We see Lewis and Clark marvel at their new discoveries as well as worry about their vagabond party members. You get a lot of information in this first issue, but nothing is too overwhelming or confusing. Dingess does a great job telling the reader exactly what they need to know and provides mystery and suspense while doing it. He also does an excellent job of giving each character their own personality. Lewis, Clark and Jensen all have distinct voices and motivations which will surely be the driving force of this book going forward. My only complaint is that the bond or “friendship” between Lewis and Clark seemed to fall a little flat. The dialogue between the two was very one note. I’m hoping as the series continues we see more of the character in the character interactions.

The art and inking done by Mathew Roberts is strong with a dash of magnificence thrown in. Character expressions and gestures are handled superbly with the “good” and “bad” guys given their own distinctions – for example, the villians seem to have sunken shaded eyes, a nice touch. The splash pages and backgrounds have a wide range of scope and breadth. Lush backgrounds and dynamic angles are filled with the vastness of wild unknown helping to create the sense of uncertainty and exploration. I found the panel layouts and direction exceptional as well. I’m a fan of overlapping and broken panels and Roberts does a nice job with variation as the book flows to its conclusion.

I would be remiss not to mention the colors by Owen Gieni who really pulls this entire book together to give it a vintage, historic look. The colors do much of the heavy lifting when it comes to conveying the tone and attitude of this book and it’s a finer piece of work because of them. The highlight of the coloring job comes in the flashback scenes where we get three panels that blend from a full color present to a greyed duo toned past. It’s a transformative effect that works well.

 

Review Score: 6 (Out of 7) This is a great start to what seems to be a really fun sci fi adventure book and is highly recommended.

What did you think of this issue? Let me know below in the comments or on Twitter (@theprophetlen)

 

 

 

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