Manifest Destiny #2 is a quality follow up to the first issue of the series. Dingess introduced quite a few characters, fleshing them out well, in the first issue, and held back on the fantastical, supernatural elements till the latter part of the book. This issue is pretty much the opposite, where there’s more mythical happenings than character work.
Dingess has introduced some solid characters, and they act very much like men of the time would when encountering supernatural elements in such an undiscovered place. He makes the idea of the fantastic not seem as outlandish to the reader, but very much terrifying and surprising to his characters in their setting. Dingess brings back the original supernatural element from the first issue, building on it, while also introducing a new threat/mystery for the explorers to deal with. The best part about it is that nothing seems convoluted or overdone. Dingess is bringing in different story elements in a well-paced manner, not letting one aspect of the story overtake another or seem overbearing to the reader. I like the majority of the characters thus far, but some are slightly annoying or unlikeable. I understand those characters are there for internal conflict, but I still wish they were a little more relatable or likeable.
The art in this book is fantastic. Matthew Roberts makes everything pop off the page, especially with the coloring by Owen Gieni. There’s a specific scene in the issue where Lewis is performing an autopsy on a supernatural creature, detailing his findings within his journal. Roberts makes this scene all too real, depicting a mutilated foreign body while displaying the fatigued, determined face of Lewis. The violence in this book is there to serve a purpose, and Roberts and Gieni are damn good at highlighting and putting some weight behind it.
I enjoyed this issue quite a bit. Dingess is providing a good bit of mystery, giving little bits of information without really giving anything away. While some characters seem a bit annoying, I like the pace he’s provided thus far and I’ll definitely be picking up the third issue to see what else could possibly be next for Lewis and Clark.