Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra's THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS VOL. 1
Book review by Dennis D. McDonald
"Someone get me a telepath down here."
If you have studied the real Manhattan Project and its main characters your enjoyment of this outlandish and irreverent treatment will be enhanced.
Some may be put off initially by the remarkably twisted take on the main characters -- Groves, Oppenheimer, Von Braun, and Feynmen in particular. But as the story unfolds and layers are added showing how the development of the atom bomb during WWII was really just a front for even weirder and bizarre science, you will be greatly entertained.
Somehow Hickman and Pitarra manage to make sense out of steadily increasingly weird situations in this tale involving teleportation, mysticism, aliens, and artificial intelligence. The art work and color is totally in service of the interweaved story lines. For example, see how the Oppenheimers are distinguished.
I haven't had as much fun with comics since Last Gasp Eco-Funnies' SLOW DEATH series in the 1970s and Moebius' AIRTIGHT GARAGE. I look forward to additional volumes in this series though I can't imagine how they can possible match Volume 1. We'll see.
One final note. Earlier I suggested that knowing something about the Manhattan Project and its key players will enhance one's enjoyment as you see what the story does to these characters. The truth is, if you study the real events behind what's behind the story details, you can't help but realize the actual truth about the Manhattan Project's "big science" is, really, stranger than fiction. Fear that the Nazis would get a bomb before we did was real and the resources and intellect thrown into the efforts at Los Alamos, the Hanover Site, and Oak Ridge were massive even by today's standards. We saw the results of this research in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Review copyright (c) 2018 by Dennis D. McDonald. For related articles on this web site see the following:
- Richard Rhodes' DARK SUN: THE MAKING OF THE HYDROGEN BOMB
- Web 2.0 and the Manhattan Project
- Boris Chertok's ROCKETS AND PEOPLE VOLUME 3: HOT DAYS OF THE COLD WAR
- David E. Hoffman’s THE DEAD HAND: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE COLD WAR ARMS RACE AND ITS DANGEROUS LEGACY
- When Cold War Was Winding Down, Could Soviet Defense Establishment Have Maintained Secrecy If Social Media Had Been Available?
- Michael Harris' ATOMIC TIMES