cover image The Horsemen: Manifest Destiny

The Horsemen: Manifest Destiny

Jiba Molei Anderson and Kofi Malik Boone. Griot Enterprises, $14.99 trade paper (66p) ISBN 978-1-6662-7123-2

Anderson fuses African myths with American superhero aesthetics in this lofty compendium from the Horsemen series. Eight immortals have begotten Orishas—“Horsemen” who command elements of weather, water, etc. The volume mixes political and fantastical themes in three tales. In the first, Ogun, a herculean Orisha, bears a sacred mask over his chest showcasing his mastery over the element iron, facing off against a rival who represents death and destruction. The second episode explodes with successive splash pages of Horsemen repelling an American invasion of modern Nigeria. The final chapter imagines that 1% of the global population developed superpowers through an event called the Manifest. The larger-than-life characters, though lavishly drawn, overshadow narrative development, as character introductions and worldbuilding are packed into chapter openers, which frame a central dynamic similar to Greek Gods and Titans. Exposition is meted out through explanatory word boxes, sometimes in the guise of news reports. The volume bridges ancient and contemporary times, and nods are made to economic inequality, unchecked imperialism, and military aggression. Anderson’s care for the comics craft is evident throughout in the eye-popping, color-fueled action sequences. However, it’s more of an add-on for those who already follow the Horsemen series—a way station rather than a jumping-on point for new readers. (Self-published)