Manhattan Projects #13 Review

After taking a month off, The Manhattan Projects is back and dealing with the fallout of Fermi’s betrayal. The story also jumps ahead another year, into the Kennedy administration, and JFK is treated with about as much respect as all the other politicians we’ve seen, by which I mean none. Here’s the official description of The Manhattan Projects #13 from Image:

After a decade of working together to overcome everything that stood against them, fractures begin to form between the scientists of the Manhattan Projects. 

Almost every comic series with any kind of overarching plot oscillates between bursts of action and more slowly paced periods, which usually allow for more character development. With Projects, those different segments are more strongly defined than in a lot of other series. Where issue 11 focused on Harry Daghlian and giving the series a truly likable character, Jonathan Hickman devotes a little time to everyone this issue, and several, including Yuri Gagarin and Richard Feynman, come off pretty well. We also get to see four different endeavors the team has in the works, which seems to indicate where the series is going. Hickman also teases us about what Oppenheimer will do next, although that bomb’s been ticking for a while now.

As you might expect with this story, Nick Pitarra gets to do a lot of facial work, which in turn means that he gets most of the burden of giving the story some emotional weight. As we already know by now, he’s up to the task. Again, Feynman and Gagarin are the greatest beneficiaries, as they exhibit perhaps the most touching and believable emotion we’ve seen in the series yet. Even with all the faces and figures, Pitarra still gets to drawing some crazy sh*t. Some alien organs are pretty cool, but the best visual is of irradiated skeleton Daghlian bathing in molten lava (Or is it magma in this case? I’m not sure.)

While this certainly wasn’t the series’ most exciting issue, it gives us an even greater sense of depth, and seems to suggests a lot about where Projects is going. I just hope Laika makes it back from space okay.


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