After an exceptionally gory last issue, the latest installment of The Manhattan Projects offers a little less blood but a lot more “crazy”.
Here’s the official word from Image:
“STRATEGIC ASSASSINATION”. Simultaneous actions on three different worlds result in the most jaw-dropping issue of THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS to date!
Jonathan Hickman might be one of the most creative minds writing in comics today, and if you wanted to prove this point all you’d have to do is hold up The Manhattan Projects as Exhibit A. Like many readers out there, I love the premise of this title which offers an alternate history that begins after the secret projects of World War II and the creation of the atomic bomb. But issue #19 doesn’t seem to concern itself with the premise, per se, or really plot. What it does, is take the final panel of issue #18 where (kinda spoiler alert) we see Dr. Oppenheimer take a bullet to the forehead and then lovingly expands on that one moment to a full 30 pages. Yes, that’s right — Issue #19 doesn’t push the plot forward as much as it pivots back towards the final moments of Dr. Oppenheimer’s life, giving the reader a sense of the internal battle he underwent before getting assassinated. All in all, it’s a very satisfying narrative trick reminiscent of Tobias Wolff’s seminal short story Bullet in the Brain. And once again demonstrates why The Manhattan Projects is a blast to read. Even when the plot doesn’t make much sense.
Nick Pitarra’s art style is almost as quirky as Hickman’s writing style. A blend between old-fashioned cartoons and hyper-realism, he’s found a knack for capturing the insane mood of this book — especially the strange peyote trip elements that this issue showcases.
The Manhattan Projects continues to be a creative and engaging read. Even when it barely makes any sense.