(Image Comics, 2013)
Review by Jeremiah Kielman
Story by Chris Dingess
Artwork by Matthew Roberts & Owen Gieni
Manifest Destiny. Just the title of this book inspires fear. And terror is what you have in store if you pick up this months copy of Manifest Destiny.
In both the real and fictional accounts of this epic journey terror was a fact of life. While the real life travelers had their fear leavened with the comfort of the mundane world. They walked from the unknown of negotiating with the savage Indians in all their finery. To the familiar sounds and sights one sees and hears whenever a large family are at their ease after an evening meal. They could fortify themselves against hard times to come in these little moments of home.
Since departure our beloved fictional crew has found little of home. But they have picked up what they decide to call a Minotaur because it’s closer to it than a Centaur. What it is we don’t know but think Centaur, minotaur and a buffalo mixed together. A long horse like face, hair like a furry mane, a human torso covered in hair and the body of a bison. Standing fifteen foot tall wielding a short sword six and a half feet long. Musket shot that would drop a man at fifty paces is shrugged off at ten by these demons.
Men are lost at war. But the fort had seen them and opened the gate. Horrors behind they still dare to dream of hearth & home. Or at least a cold porridge safe behind fort walls. Dashing in. Heart pounding so hard in your chest. So loud was it that you don’t notice how still it is inside a Fort that should be filled with the screams of men. A man is shouting at another man. Oh, it’s the Captain. He’s yelling at you. “Close the damned gate!” and you do.
In the real world the Forts all had men in them. They could be terrifying places true. But the dangers were usually mundane. Made them no less deadly but understanding made them less frightening. Especially after time.
Thanks to his CO’s advanced recognizance of one of the officer’s at the Forts daughters. Meaning I spent many an evening at the Commander’s table as my CO and this girl touched hands. These are the moments the fictitious characters don’t get. And without these moments the terror will only mount as time goes on.
Instead they have silent girls who fall to their deaths. But corpses of the dead? Out of the question. You want death and corpses? You must be mad! Then more silence as they barge into the abandoned Fort. Suns going down to the sounds of a captured friend tortured. Then silence.
Time to go exploring, everyone!
Yeah! Let’s go. Sure is silent. Sure is. Hey are those plant zombies? I do believe your right, sir. Good show. Mad. Mad I say…