Lewis and Clark…Sacagawea…exploring new lands…meeting new people…the adventure of a lifetime- what could possibly go wrong???
As coincidence would have it, I was reading this book while my family was in St. Louis, where this adventure gets it’s start. It was a neat juxtaposition to compare the pictures of the Mississippi and the arch in the book, to what the city and surrounding area look like now. What starts out as what you imagine the expedition looked like in 1804, quickly takes a sharp left turn when the group encounters a living arch, Minotaur-type creatures who are half human/ half bison, and vegetation that take over people turning them into plant zombies. Sacagawea is introduced as a mysterious warrior along with her disgusting husband Charbonneau.
I had SO many problems with this book. I thought at first, cool, this story will be fun. It was not. What upset me the most was how Sacagawea was portrayed. It first must be noted that I don’t like when historical women are misrepresented to the public. The Disney movie about Pocahontas and the Fox movie about Anastasia drive me wild with how inaccurate they are and my worry that youth will watch them and think they are historically factual. While I understand that no one is reading this graphic novel for its accuracy, I was pissed at how she was portrayed. She was sexualized and crude comments were made about her by some of the men. This then leads to my next complaint- the mature content. This was some of my own doing for I failed to notice the small notice on the back that it was rated M. It’s not that I’m a prude, I read and enjoy The Walking Dead and Locke & Key that incorporate sexuality into their stories, but in this story is seemed gratuitous. I think younger boys might gravitate towards this book that is labeled action/adventure and then be introduced to some wildly inappropriate remarks and pictures while reading the novel.
So Image Comics takes history, government conspiracies, and re-images (get my pun?) the events by shaking it all together into what I consider a convoluted mess. There are future volumes, as this first volume only covers the beginning of the journey. I am vaguely interested in the Sacagawea plot line and what subterfuge Lewis and Clark hinted at regarding her and her future infant and how it will play out, plus I know the expedition will be eventually encountering Big Foot/Sasquatch, so I might skim future volumes just so I can get upset again 😉
July 29, 2016 at 7:51 pm
I couldn’t agree with your critiques more and I share your frustration. While I haven’t read this series everything you listed off as problematic are things that get me upset and ranty as well. So I’m sorry you had to wade through this, I can thank you for taking the bullet for me. I shall happily steer clear of ‘Manifest Destiny’ (both the comic and the idea that God wants white Europeans to rob indigenous people of their land) in the future!
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July 31, 2016 at 1:39 am
Another gripe I had was that the minotaurs were shown with Native American markings and weaponry, leading to the men speculating they were from different Indian tribes, which reinforces the horrible stereotype that Native American tribes were no better than animals. So, just in the first volume, they show a different culture as either animals or as a sexual toy.