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Comic Book / Manifest

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Manifest is a Science Fiction Super Hero comic book series written and drawn by Riccardo Desini and self-published on DriveThruComics as well as Amazon, Gumroad, and Comixology.

The series follows the superheroine Tessa Theus, AKA Thunder Girl, and her cast of friends and enemies, in a quest to liberate an entire world - the titular Manifest - from an evil dictator. There is a heavy element of mystery and character development as well as the usual superhero action.

Not related to the video game nor the NBC series of the same name.

Manifest provides examples of the following:

  • All of the Other Reindeer: The Lemurian thinks he's getting this treatment when put on a team full of humans who can perceive the Wayfarer while he can't. He accuses them of discriminating against him because of his race or his past as a mole in the Lemurian Libration Committee, to which each of them responds with a laundry list of their own weird traits and flaws.
  • Astral Projection: Spectral Wayfarer, maybe. Scarab, definitely. He is also one of the few who can detect the Wayfarer.
  • Big Bad: Saturn is an oppressive dictator who uses the psychic powers of his aide and lover, Sibyl, to hold sway over the people of Manifest.
  • Bully Hunter: How Tessa viewed her approach to superheroism in the time between the death of her first team and her eventual defeat at Saturn's hands.
  • Buxom Beauty Standard: Tessa briefly agonizes over her huge breasts before accepting her figure as "kind of hot." Multiple male characters are seen to appreciate them too.
  • Coitus Uninterruptus: In Issue #2, Saturn has sex with Sibyl while his generals and advisers report on the status of his kidnapped daughter. He briefly stops to yell at the generals, and then asks Sibyl "Who told you to put your robe back on?" before the camera cuts to the next panel. In Issue #18, Attikus and Zudhra (Tessa's parents) are having sex when Tessa and the mysterious shadow being come upon them in the Community ship. Attikus and Zudhra don't stop, and are perfectly comfortable talking to Tessa while they finish up. Tessa, of course, wishes she had a good dose of Brain Bleach.
  • Domino Mask: The younger, parallel version of Thunder Girl wears one, as well as Tessa herself in flashback scenes.
  • Fat Bastard: Balthazaar, one of the primary conspirators trying to wrest control of Manifest from Saturn.
  • Fiery Redhead: Tessa has red hair and is prone to outbursts, emotional snap decisions, and punching dudes in the face.
  • Invisible to Normals: The Spectral Wayfarer is only visible to Tessa, Young Thunder Girl, and a handful of other characters. He also can only interact with that select few.
  • Impossibly-Low Neckline: Tessa's neckline is only possible because of her tremendous boobs. A smaller woman would fall out of her costume. And as of Issue #20 on, she falls out of it all the time herself while fighting her enemies with her trademark acrobatic style. This is a rare case of showing the realistic consequences of the trope.
  • La Résistance: The Lemurian Liberation Committee is an underground organization dedicated to overthrowing Saturn. And the denizens of the Wide Lands seem to be another, unconnected resistance movement. They're also allied with the Wayfarer.
  • Literal Split Personality: Saturn did this to Tessa after he defeated her, creating the younger Thunder Girl. It's later revealed that before this, he did the same thing to Balthazaar, which created the psychic entity lurking in Tessa's mind.
  • Most Common Superpower: Tessa is very, very busty, even for your average superheroine. Other characters often comment on her size. The younger Thunder Girl says "They're intimidating up close." Tessa's first dialogue is complaining about her oversized breasts to a friend over the phone. But unlike a lot of comic book women, she's very curvy in general. Early in the series, she has a generally realistic figure for her bustline - wide hips, big muscular legs, and is self-conscious of her "back fat." As the series has worn on, however, Desini dramatically enlarged the size of her breasts (and rear) to truly monumental proportions. Word of God is that he always wanted Tessa to be that busty, but was concerned early on about turning off potential readers. Boob jokes continue to be a staple, as well as frequent Wardrobe Malfunction.
  • One-Word Title: The Place that the protagonists are liberating.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: The Lemurian is only referred to by his species. Enforced in his case, because he was never even given a name.
  • The Place: The title is the name of the place the protagonists are liberating.
  • Psychic Powers appear to be common in the world of Manifest. Tessa herself has them, and so does the Spectral Wayfarer. Sibyl, Saturn's most trusted aide and lover, has immense psychic powers projected by her voice. She uses her voice to maintain Saturn's control over the people of Manifest by psychically calming them and muddling their memories.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: Tessa frequently ends up nude for one reason or another, and never feels a hint of shame or discomfort being naked in front of others. She does realize that wearing clothes is socially correct, and will always get her clothes back on when she gets the chance. Other characters have a range of reactions, from drooling attraction to disgust to intimidation to indifference.
  • Spirit Advisor: Spectral Wayfarer to Tessa, maybe. It's uncertain what exactly he is. So far.
  • Thinking Up Portals: Wayfarer can open portals with his powers. It's pretty useful.
  • Wardrobe Malfunction: As of Issue #20, Tessa now frequently falls out of her Stripperific costume, which she casually pulls back up after executing an acrobatic maneuver or an especially dynamic attack. She doesn't seem to think much of it, as per her Shameless Fanservice Girl status.