“You have been a very bad computer, Mister President.”
I want to say The Manhattan Projects #8 delivered one of my favorite lines so far this year, but that doesn’t mean much, considering it’s January 2nd. Still, I think it will remain a contender for quite a while. Here’s the issue’s official description from Image:
They have waited and watched in the dark and now the old money that runs nations is ready to make their move against the Manhattan Projects. It’s the secret leaders of the world like you’ve never seen them before.
The thrilling FEEL GOOD, BAD SCIENCE series continues in THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS #8: THEY RULE!
The Manhattan Projects is definitely one of the oddest books to emerge in the last year. That’s perfectly fine, but some of the things that make it odd, like the multiple nonlinear storylines and the concepts, which are often literally alien, sometimes make it difficult to read. Issue 8 is easily my favorite issue of the book so far, largely because it’s so straightforward.
We’ve known for a while that kooky Harry Truman is into some weird stuff, and now his Illuminati unleash A.I. ex-president Franklin Roosevelt to put a stop to the scientists of the Projects, who have gone rogue. A huge battle, between Von Braun, Einstein, and friends, and hordes of Roosevelt-controlled robot drones ensues and dominates the issue. See? Simple.
The action is wonderfully ludicrous and nonstop, and, again, refreshingly different from the equally ludicrous cloak-and-dagger, secrets within secrets narrative we’ve been getting up to this point.
Obviously, the events of this series never actually happened, and this issue honestly isn’t that much more ridiculous than any that has come before. Still, up to this point, I’ve been able to suspend my disbelief in such a way that I can lie to myself, that I can say, “Maybe this really did happen.” But with issue, Jonathan Hickman has carried us into an entire new realm, suspension of disbelief-wise, and I can’t believe that little lie anymore. That’s this issue’s only failure.
I should probably discuss Nick Pitarra‘s art, but he’s very consistent as an artist, and that makes it difficult to comment on his work. As usual, he strikes a good balance between realism and fantasy that nicely suits the subject matter. The dozens of Roosevelt faces staring out from the computer monitor heads of as many robot drones is amusing and carried out nicely. I do wish he’d vary his layouts a bit more.
If issue 8 is any indication, 2013 is going to be another stellar year for the MP, and I’m personally hoping the book sticks with this new, more direct approach.