A little bit of time has gone by since their last mission and they spot another arch off in the distance. Of course, the group goes off to find out what the arch is made of and what beast does it represent. In addition, Sacajawea may or may not be pregnant and she is forced into getting some help.
I love the back and forth between the crew on this expedition. It feels like it's building towards a mutiny and I keep wondering how long this can all last, with monsters killing off their men, before people get fed up and leave or try to take over from Lewis and Clark. Each issue is a power-struggle and at some point, something is going to give.
This issue focuses more on the relationships between these characters. Writer Chris Dingess spends the opening half of the book developing these characters a bit more and where they are at this moment. We get a lot from Sacajawea here and not just the fact she may be with child. We get a lot more about her character just by how she acts while dealing with pain and morning sickness. She's tough, tougher than the rest of the crew, in fact. She's become the stand-out character of the series and one of the best developed ones at that.
Artist Matthew Roberts and colorist Owen Gieni continue to do some stellar work on this book. I love the style of Roberts' pencils and how it gives this book a very unique look and Gieni's colors do the same. His color work is very unlike every other book's colors. It has a distinct flavor that fits the art and the time period this book takes place in. As always, Roberts' creature creation is always intriguing as he takes bits and pieces of different animals and smashes them together.
The downside to the issue and the start of the new arc is that it feels like a bit more of the same. We don't get too much of anything new, aside from "there's a new arch. Here's a monster." However, it's really hard to follow that last issue which was easily the best issue of the series, thus far.
What this issue of MANIFEST DESTINY does well is set up the next arc after quite the tremendous issue the month prior. It may be a decent place for new readers to jump on, but folks reading since the opening act might find this issue a tad lackluster. It almost feels like this issue is following a repeating formula. Regardless of that, the character development is the focus and it's done extremely well. On top of that, the coloring and art are beautiful, and MANIFEST DESTINY continues to be one of my favorite on-going series. I highly suggest buying the first two trades of this series and jumping on while you can!