12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Your mind will explode, SCANNERS-style, while reading this fantastic comic!,
This review is from: The Manhattan Projects, Vol. 1: Science Bad (Paperback)
Jonathan Hickman has, for the last few years at least over at Marvel, been the "big brain" writer. He wrote several books from FANTASTIC FOUR to FF (Future Foundation) to the more esoteric and incredibly ambitious version of S.H.I.E.L.D and more recently on THE ULTIMATES. He's a creator who has a great love for great minds and always shoots for the smartest reader in the comic shop. When the idea of Hickman and his RED WING partner Nick Pitarra's THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS for Image Comics was first presented to me, it seemed like something that was an absolute natural for Hickman. A comic about the assembly of some of the greatest scientific minds in history that did actually participate in the actual "Manhattan Project" of development of the Atomic Bomb, but also, even more secretly, did some of the most brain-shredding science ever? And not only would it be about the science that they do, but the scientists themselves, like Joseph Robert Oppenheimer, Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, Richard Feynman and the project's leader, General Leslie Groves.
What Hickman does here, and does so incredibly well, is that he creates a bizarre and twisted characterization for each of these real people and gives it the intelligence and creativity to make it work within the framework of this book. As way of a for instance, Oppenheimer has multiple-personality disorder, and feels that he, as Joseph, has "devoured" his brother Robert and become an amalgam of the two... and that's just the first chapter. Scientist Harry Daghlian has apparently absorbed so much radiation that he's essentially just a skeleton in a containment suit. Fermi may very well not be a human being. Einstein... well... he has a monolith.
These are just a few of the wacky ideas that Hickman and Pitarra have cooked up for this series, and there are MANY more surprises in store for you. It goes without saying that this book isn't going to appeal to many readers out there, but rather a more rabid cult following as Hickman and Pitarra go deeper and deeper into the truly bizarre and surreal aspects of their narrative. Hickman keeps delivering surprise after surprise and Pitarra, whose art style is vaguely reminiscent of Frank Quietly, is so perfectly suited to a book of this nature. It's cartoonish without being too cartoony and the level of detail is just fantastic.
Alongside Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' FATALE, Robert Kirkman and Shawn Martinbrough's THIEF OF THIEVES, and what I consider to be Image's current crowning achievement, Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma's MORNING GLORIES, THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS is another huge winner for the more recent wave of newer books from Image.