Open a gateway to anywhere in the universe, and you are asking for trouble… unless you have an Oppenheimer. The Manhattan Projects #5 has arrived, and Major Spoilers takes a peek inside.

Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Nick Pitarra
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.50

Previously in The Manhattan Projects: Albert Einstein, the greatest mind on Earth, can’t figure out how to operate a doorway that the greatest mind on Earth created. That statement makes a lot more sense if you realize that the Albert Einstein currently on Earth is actually an Albert Einstein from another world. The Albert Einstein from our Earth is now trapped somewhere… out there… on the other side of a closed gateway.


Have you heard of the practice where certain tribes eat the heart of the defeated enemy in order to gain their strength? Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, psychopath, believes in that practice, but instead of eating the heart, he prefers to eat their brains in order to gain all of their knowledge.

But I’m getting ahead of myself – something this book does quite well, thanks to the writing of Jonathan Hickman.

For years, aliens have been visiting Earth and sharing information. The latest arrivals promise to give Earth the stars providing they get something called The Pulling Way (hint: they are talking about Einstein’s door). The aliens want to use the door to enslave the galaxy, but before General Groves can agree to it, Oppenheimer kills the leader and eats his brains. Yes, Dr. Robert Oppenheimer is a brilliant interstellar negotiator…

With the understanding of how the door works, it takes no time for those involved in The Manhattan Projects to open a gateway to the alien’s home world and wipe the entire hive mind society out with a single blow. And though that may be a Major Spoiler, you really need to read the issue to see how elegant the plan is.

Mr. Hickman really thought this plot point through and it works brilliantly, even if the actions of the characters could have serious repercussions down the road. And that’s what makes this series work. Mr. Hickman started this series by giving readers a look at a universe where humans appear to have it all together, but in reality he’s showing us that the characters are no better than a monkey with an armed and ready rocket launcher. The backstabbing, the back stories, and the devious minds that are plotting their own endgame continues to make this book engaging.


Though the horrors of Mr. Hickman’s writing come across perfectly in the spoken word, the graphic display of Oppenheimer eating the gooey green brains of an alien leader bring those horrific words to life on the page. Nick Pitarra’s lines are unique from what many readers expect to see in comic books, which makes those shocking moments of brains all over the place and melting body parts something you can’t look away from, instead of the gore porn found in other books currently on the market.

The color scheme that Jordie Bellaire uses continues to compliment Mr. Pitarra’s art, but I’m hoping the blue/red scheme becomes more than a gimmick to show good vs. evil, as that is the one part of the series that is starting to wear on me.


There are few books that become runaway hits, and though The Manhattan Projects may not be tearing up the charts right now, when this book hits the collected editions, this book is going to be super hot. You really should pick this book up now, so you can be one of those people that can say you remember reading it in the original issues. I love reading about the Manhattan Project and those involved with it, and I have become a real fan of the twisted take on history that Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra are bringing in this book. This issue continues to spellbind me, earning The Manhattan Projects #5 4.5 out of 5 Stars.

Rating: ★★★★½


About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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