Issue three of Jonathan Hickman’s The Manhattan Projects is subtitled The Bomb and that might give you the sneaking suspicion that Hickman’s story may start treading close to the history we claim we all know about what “The Manhattan Project” truly was intended to be. However, if you have been on this crazy-train ride from issue one like me, then you know that’s impossible.
Jonathan Hickman has a wonderful talent for tenuously tiptoeing so close to what is in written in history books and then dragging his readers over the deep end of fantastic fiction.
Image Comics describes this latest issue as follows:
The Death of FDR leaves the Manhattan Projects in chaos as questions of leadership arise. The world’s first Artificial Intelligence is created 40 years ahead of schedule. And whatever happened to the THIRD atomic bomb developed by Oppenheimer and his unparalleled Science Team?
And, because I don’t want this review to end up as a spoiler, I will leave that to lie on its own. Here’s what I will tell you, though: at the end of this issue I am left feeling that I should hang on tight, buckle up and get ready, because it feels like – just like in our global history – “The Bomb” is about to shine a light on who has, and what really is, the most frightening power in this world.
If you don’t already have The Manhattan Projects on your pull list, I (continue to) highly recommend it. It’s full of mad scientists, high tech sci-fi goodness all set in a past that Hickman tempts us to believe might have been… It is good research turned on its side and it twists your mind because of it! Nick Pitarra’s art continues to be a perfect match for the book. From issue to issue, Pitarra is up to every challenge in drawing characters that are familiar to us. However, he has a unique talent for accentuating a darkness in them that we never could have previously believed was there. This is, of course, with the help of an equally talented colorist Jordie Bellaire, who not only strikes the mood of each issue, but of each character from panel to panel. It is such a good match overall, I am left wondering, issue after issue, how I would have perceived these books had one of these three components been handled differently.
Find The Manhattan Projects #3: The Bomb new this week, on May 16, 2012, from Image Comics.