Indie Comic Corner: The Manhattan Projects
A good sunday to you comics-fans! I’m here to once again bring back Indie Comic Corner, to enlighten you on another interesting series that you may not have heard about! This installement is about The Manhattan Projects, a science fiction/history book written by Jonathan Hickman and drawn by Nick Piterra. It follows the “true” story of the scientists who worked on The Manhattan Project. While we think that the Manhattan Project was simply the Atomic Bomb, there is much more involved in this secret government science facility. Hence, the s in Manhattan Projects. The series follows Oppenheimer, Einstein, Fermi and Fynman but not as you would expect them to be.
What Hickman does in this series is take everything we know about the history surrounding the Manhattan Project, as well as the people, and change it drastically. Simply put, their work on the A-Bomb is simply a cover for the dozens of other scientific advancements that everyone is working on. There are people working on ways to put man in space, Einstein is working on a “monolith” in his room, FDR’s consciousness gets created into the first ever thinking computer. This is the kind of weird stuff that you can expect to see in the book. But while weird, there are extremely cool moments too. For example, in the first few pages, the facility is attacked by the Japanese. But not with a bomb or anything, instead it’s a mystical gateway that allows for Japanese Wooden Robot Soldiers to enter the facility and start killing off scientists. It’s stuff like that that permeates through the core of this book. The best way I could describe the contents is imagine all the famous scientists you ever heard about in school and now picture them as mad scientists. That’s the exact feeling I get from this book.
Now granted, while I do find myself enjoying the series, I do have one problem with it. If you aren’t very familiar with certain scientific figures, or any of the history of the time period, you can get a little confused. I know that the name Werner Von Braun means something but other than that feeling, I can’t help but sense I’m missing something larger because of that ignorance. However, if you are familiar with the history, it does enhance the story for the reader. For example, it is implied that Enrico Fermi is an alien, which makes perfect sense when you consider he is famous not only for the A-Bomb but also for his mathematical equation that supposedly proves that extraterrestrial life exists. Little gems like that are great when you have the ability to pick up on them but at the same time, it kind of hinders the book when you feel like you’re missing out on something.
Overall, the book is really cool and intriguing and creepy (that could also be read as Oppenheimer and Einstein’s plotlines) and you should definitely check it out if you have any interest in science or “mad science”. The need to know a little bit of history somewhat hinders the experience but not enough for me to not recommend this book. The first trade paperback (collecting issues #1-5) is available and the 6th issue of the book comes out September 12th!