What happens when you twist history and rebuild it based on whatever weird and wacky thought that comes to your mind? If you are Major Spoilers, you hire a band of crazed people from around the world to write for your site. If you are Jonathan Hickman, you bring the Illuminati, aliens, astral projection, robots and Nazis together under one roof. And that is going to cause some problems.
Seeing the Illuminati take charge was nice
The big bad is really disturbing
The art creates some confusing moments in the story
Previously in The Manhattan Projects: Having discovered the doorway to other worlds, those running the Manhattan Projects have decided to use the technology found in those worlds to reach to the stars, and no one is going to stand in their way.
BEWARE THE OMNIPRESIDENT
If you are like me, you are sitting in your sub-basement with your tinfoil hat on hoping that the Illuminati aren’t reading your every thought. In the tale that Mr. Hickman is telling, the Illuminati don’t like that a bunch of upstarts are trying to take over the world – a world they clearly have been ruling for years. During the secret Illuminati meeting, the group of rather unique characters that includes hooded monks, Mayans, Luchadores, Egyptians, and President Truman decide it is time to put an end to the antics of military men and scientists.
How will they exact their justice?
The Omnipresident (the Roosevelt A.I.) has been secretly working as a mole, and is dispatched to take out everyone. Okay, it wasn’t that much of a big surprise, as the subhead above kind of gave it away.
For the remainder of the issue, the Roosevelt A.I. takes over all the robots at the various facilities, and begins killing anyone and everyone that stands in its way. As a younger lad, I remember seeing ads for a RPG game that featured zombies hordes trying to take down a scientist and his young team, and for some reason, when seeing a multitude of robots coming at Evil Einstein and Richard Feynman, that image keeps flooding back into my brain. Though there is plenty of dialogue, the real selling point is the “heroes” taking on the robot horde, with Wernher von Braun, of all people, leading the charge planet side. Wernher is able to stop the rampage, but as the final panel reveals, he doesn’t come out unscathed, and will more than likely have more than a robot arm in the future.
This is probably the most action packed issue of the series to date, and it was a bit of a turn for a series that, for the most part, has been heavy on the thriller side. Even though there is plenty of blood and guts (both human and robot), Mr. Hickman is still able to fill panels with needed dialogue to carry the story forward.
ROBOT GUTS AND HUMAN GORY
Though the robots in this book only contain sprockets and gears, seeing their heads split open and head matter explode out of the back is just as graphic as the blood and guts that are splattered in the big fight scenes. And it does get bloody at times, especially when Wernher gets a rocket up the keister. Or at least I think that is what happens. While I have grown used to Nick Pitarra’s style in this series – it still gives me the heebie-jeebies – the final fight sequence has at least one panel that had me scratching my head in confusion. I can’t tell if it was meant to be drawn that way, or if there was some editing done to tone down the gory sight of Wernher with his legs blown off and pulling himself to the Roosevelt A.I.
BOTTOM LINE: STILL GOOD
The Manhattan Projects has been one of the most fun books I’ve read in 2012, and can’t wait to see where Mr. Hickman and Pitarra take the series in 2013. The story has taken a turn that was not expected, but very welcome, and the fallout from the raid should set the main characters back a bit, while giving Truman and the rest of the Illuminati a chance to get a little crazy with technology. The art is good, but the panels that simply come off as confusing to me, bring the entire book down. The Manhattan Projects is still good, and worth picking up, and does a better than average job, earning 3.5 Stars out of 5 this month.