February 27, 2024

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Comic Review: Manifest Destiny Vol 8

Lewis, Clark, and Sacajawea's mission comes to an end. Who will prevail?

Alrighty, finally got another five trades done.  I used to do these more regularly, but a lot of things have happened in the past year or so.  Anyway, here’s the first installment for the week, and I’m starting with the final trade in Image Comics’s Manifest Destiny with the 8th volume Sacrificium & Reditus.

OK, to summarize the series, the Lewis and Clark expedition was really sent to go to the West Coast, exterminate various monsters along the way, and apparently make a deal with the demon on the other side.  Sacajawea has a similar mission, and she’s working with the explorers for her own reasons that involve the sacrifice of her infant son.  The thing is, Sacajawea wants to sacrifice the baby boy for one thing while Lewis and Clark want to for another.  The thing is, these stone arches exist across the continent that spew out these deadly monsters on a routine basis.  If this is supposed to be real history, how does the series reconcile the fact that these things don’t exist in the real world?

There actually is an explanation for what happens to the monsters, but to be honest, that’s the weakest part of the conclusion as there is a plot element tossed out at the last minute to take care of that.  The surviving characters all have different perspectives on what to do with that baby, and not everyone is down with killing a baby for a devil’s favor.  Besides, again, if this is supposed to be real history, then Lewis, Clark, and Sacajawea all have to survive the story somehow while none of them should get what they want.

It’s the character moments that work best.  Lewis has been the series’s narrator for the entire series, and he initially comes across as more sympathetic than the more stoic Clark.  Clark was the one who did all the discipline for the soldiers and convicts along for the ride, and it seemed he cared less, particularly since he brought a slave with him, so it would be easier to see him as the bad guy, but over the course of the series, the story has basically either hinted Lewis was just as bad if not worse for very different reasons, leading up to this final trade that showed, well, he was not the nice one.  Clark may not be a saint, but Lewis may actually be the worse of the pair.

But really, the series seemed to just skip through the finale at a much faster pace than previous trades.  It’s hard to finish a long running story no matter what the medium, but this final volume didn’t work for me in the end.  That was kinda disappointing.

7 out of 10 deals with the devil for the trade and 9 out of 10 new arches for the series.