When can revisionist history be cool? In the fantasy and fiction world of comic books, that's where, and one thing that drives a great comic is a really cool concept. Chris Dingess and Matthew Roberts have one in their Skybound / Image comic Manifest Destiny.
It is set in 1804-1806, when U.S. Army captain Meriwether Lewis and William Clark set on their famous two-year expedition to the Pacific coast and back. What Manifest Destiny explores is that Lewis and Clark encountered incredible monsters and demons along the way, and covering this up becomes the first lie of the United States Government sold to its people.
"They were supposed to be on a trade route to promote peace with Native Americans," Dingess explained to me, "when they were really killing monsters and demons so that the white European population at the time could expand and take over the country."
This is a splendid mash-up of history and survivalist horror that is guaranteed to scratch the genre itch for many. The lush re-imagining of a unsettled America and serves as the backdrop for these nasty monsters, all of which are given great texture and detail by Roberts, whose early work included Battle Pope with Robert Kirkman. Some big credit needs to go to Owen Gieni too for his colors on the series, which are out of sight.
Dingess came by the SYFY WIRE studio at Comic-Con to talk about writing Manifest Destiny and creating monsters. Having written for Being Human and being a writer/producer on series such as Agent Carter, Reaper, and Medium, Dingess also shares his experience writing his first comic after writing for television and adjusting to the comics medium. He shared with me how he drew from facts and then turned it into wild fiction, then gave credit to Roberts' research in visualizing this world to keep Manifest Destiny grounded.
Watch the interview below and let us know what you think of Manifest Destiny and whether you're reading it or want to.
The series' 30th issue was released on August 9, which will conclude the fifth volume, which will be collected in trade paperback on September 6. Manifest Destiny is not only an alternate take on history -- it's also an alternative to those looking for a break from superheroes.