Manifest Destiny #15: The Smart-Ass Bird has Arrived for Your Enjoyment [Review]

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From writer Chris Dingess (Being Human) and artist Matthew Roberts (Battle Pope) comes the Image comic series Manifest Destiny – a twisted and monster-filled take on Lewis and Clark’s Western expedition. Check out my review of issue #15.

Lost in America’s heartland, the expedition strikes a bargain with new friends, and encounters a strange visitor that’s like nothing else on Earth…

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Lewis and Clark’s mission just got a much needed dose of comedy in the form of a talking smartass bird. In the hands of any writer besides’ Dingess this could have been the point in which Manifest Destiny officially jumps the shark. But we really needed this little A-Hole to speak up and it worked so well. After the mutiny is squashed during the opening pages, our crew winds up encountering something like never before – an intelligent creature who converses with them. That fanged bird that was captured in the previous issue apparently is able to talk and the dialog he dishes is priceless as he steals the entire chapter.

Roberts’ art continues to kick ass and the full page panel of Fricke’s KO via mallet was superb. Manifest Destiny has this gritty look that really sets it apart from other comics – it’s neither new-school and polished but it isn’t oldschool either – it reminds me of that badass Vertigo style which seems timeless.

The cover could be a little misleading this month, but that’s OK. Even though there are no vampires to be found in this issue, the forecast looks promising as Dingess may be reviving his Being Human past with civil-war era bloodsuckers getting some love in his comic. I’m OK with that, but you better be getting to some Sasquatch soon dammit.

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The final page isn’t a shocker per-say but it’s certainly disturbing. Manifest Destiny does a great job with last pages (remember the mosquitos? Yeeeeeesh) and I’m surprised at how well they’ve kept up the pace and still managed to jampack so many unique story arcs and monster types in just 15 issues. But that bird though – I love him – more bird please Dingess – don’t kill it, we need it.

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