The Manhattan Projects #1
Title: Infinite Oppenheimers
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Nick Pitarra
Letters: Rus Wooton
Colors: Cris Peter
Publisher: Image Comics
The Manhattan Project: the US think tank that helped develop the atomic bomb and win World War II. But what if there were more to it than that? What if the Project was just a cover for something even bigger – a chance for the greatest minds in the world to carry out virtually any sort of experiment the mind can conceive? And what if, like the project itself, not all of the minds involved were exactly what they appeared?
The Manhattan Projects, the new project by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra, starts out with an intriguing premise and then goes to a very different place. As a sort of alternate history project it starts with Oppenheimer – in real life one of the minds behind the Manhattan Project – and takes him to some very unexpected places. Well… unexpected before you start reading the book, anyway. I heard a lot about this issue’s big twist ending, and to be honest, it was a twist I suspected pretty early on.
That’s not to say it isn’t a really great issue, though. If it was nothing but the twist, there’d be no real reason to come back for issue two. The very concept is clever, original, and plump with potential to take the characters and their world into weird, unexplored, totally unique circumstances. That’s what has made Jonathan Hickman’s work on Fantastic Four so great, and it’s wonderful to see him bringing a similar sensibility to these other characters, who feel totally new despite a bit of familiarity that comes when you attempt any sort of alternate history project.
Nick Pitarra, Hickman’s partner on the recent The Red Wing miniseries, returns with this book as well. There’s only one real scene of sci-fi weirdness for him to illustrate, and he does it well, crafting robotic creatures that look time period appropriate and excitingly bizarre at the same time. Hopefully future installments will give him even more of a chance to branch out and cut loose.
It’s a promising beginning, and I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes in the future.