The Manhattan Projects, which has always delighted in presenting an alternate version of real historical events, finally tackles one of history’s sacred cows: the JFK assassination. And somehow, it all makes sense.
Here’s the official word from Image:
“TEXAS ROULETTE” In the wake of the disastrous resolution to the Cuban Missile Crisis, the scientists of the Manhattan Projects are forced to choose sides between the country they love and the people they love the most…themselves.
Jonathan Hickman has been dutifully marching his cast of mad characters through American history since the start of the Manhattan Projects, starting with the creation of the atomic bomb and now, finally, arriving at the earliest days of the Cold War. This march, of course, has not always been linear and the backstory has rarely been historically accurate, although many of the events on the surface did actually take place. Take for instance issue #23, where Hickman tackled the Cuban Missile crisis — yes, the event occurred, but Hickman offered reader some bonkers reasoning for how and why the crisis happened and this is where the joy of Hickman’s writing comes from. Like a junkyard artist, Hickman takes the wide array of ready-made objects littered through our history books and spends issue after issue molding them into his meta-plot of warring scientists and new world order lunacy. So too with issue #24, where we finally arrive at the JFK assassination.
Plot wise, you already know what happened in Dallas on November 22, 1963. What issue #24 offers, then, is Hickman’s vision of the how his cast of characters played a role. There are some clever moments in this script for sure; Hickman’s ability to infuse scenes with destructive gadgets is in full effect here and offered the best moments of the book.
Nick Pitarra’s art is once again pitch perfect for Hickman’s script — both serious and outlandish at the same time, his cartoony style with exaggerated details (mixed with dead-on facial expressions) are a perfect expression of the mood Hickman has created.
While I’m a fan of Pitarra’s art and Hickman’s history-bending storytelling, I do think it’s fair to say that issue in particular, with it’s tongue-in-cheek and hyper-gory approach to JFK will *probably* rub some older readers the wrong way. But younger readers might be unphased.
But it’s a fun read regardless.