The purpose of Lewis & Clark’s expedition, IRL, was to find a route across the unchartered western US and to undertake a study of flora, fauna and geography. The expedition led by Cpt. Meriwether Lewis and his Second-in-Command, William Clark, was also tasked with establishing trade with the local tribes.
It’s a pretty well-known slice of history, but imagine if Lewis & Clark were tasked not only with everything above, but also were directed to destroy “monsters” they encounter along the way. That’s the premise of “Manifest Destiny.”
Flora & Fauna
The story starts with Clark writing in his journal and we meet the crew made up of officers, soldiers, and a few unsavory convicts and mercenaries. Clark’s a bit put out that they have yet to come across any exotic flora or fauna – or any monsters for that matter.
The lesson here is, be careful what you wish for or you just might get it in the form of a gigantic buffalo/man/buffalo man, creature like this:
When I wander into the wilderness that most I have to worry about is getting bit by a tick. Or perhaps being accosted by a rabid raccoon. Don’t laugh: those adorable little trash pandas aren’t so adorable when they’re foaming at the mouth. And yes, here in Northern New England, they have been known to attack.
Still, I don’t have to worry about a super-sized sulky adolescent satyr from hell.
But I guess that’s to be expected in a place where flowers look like creepy skulls and there’s a – SPOILER ALERT – band of meat-eating vegetation zombies. They’re kind of like the live undead. Hard to imagine, but I guess things were different in the days of the American frontier.
Meanwhile the crew is getting spooked and things look dire. But just in time Sacagawea arrives with her trader husband Toussaint Charbonneau. And this is one larger-than-life Sacagawea, who, even though she’s sidelined by the expedition, still manages to kick ass in an epic way.
Volume I of the trade was a Mother’s Day gift from my son, who always gives me great comic book and comic-related presents. My son is a lover of history, and a comic book enthusiast: I can see why he liked Manifest Destiny – it’s a great mix of fact and fiction, real and unreal, and history and fantasy. Kind of like my life.