Comic Book Review – Manhattan Projects #16

Manhattan Projects #16
Written by: Jonathan Hickman
Art by: Nick Pitarra

*Slight Spoilers Below*

Most people who journey into Jonathan Hickman’s books get lost within the high concept landscape.

I too am a wayward sheep.

Manhattan Projects #16 isn’t as heavy as other issues, however, it still takes a few reads to really get a grasp on what’s happening. In this chapter, we find Oppenheimer torturing our band of misfits to gain information on the multitude of “projects” in existence. While the characters sit in a cell waiting to be confronted by their captor (Oppenheimer), we see Einstein and Fenyman sleeping next to each other in the cell. While they sleep, their consciousnesses are on the hunt for alien lifeform brains in another realm. It’s unclear how this is happening since they aren’t near the time lock that’s been used in previous issues to “teleport” to other realms. This loose thread is bound to get tied up later down the road but this occurrence that gets tied into the cliffhanger is a bit confusing.

Another bit of confusion stems from the diary snippets that are used as breaks throughout this series. In this issue, we get three snippets that mention four individual projects, none of which have yet to be explained in the course of the series as far as I can remember. I understand that Hickman uses these snippets as parts of a whole and as a vehicle to slowly unearth the events that are taking place but they seem to add uncertainty to the events taking place in the actual books. As a reader, they pull me out of the drama instead of pulling me in.

This comic’s highlights are all of the character interactions that take place throughout it. The characters are confined to a small cell so we get some really fun and interesting developments as they sit and keep each other company. These moments work so well because all of the “sciencey bigness” of this book comes to a halt and we see these personalities come to life and compliment each other. When you’re lost in Hickman’s maze of ideas, it’s nice to get a break once in a while.

Nick Pitarra’s art work is as great as ever in this book. Pittara spares no detail when it comes to body hair, scabs, spit, blood and chainsaw decals. His art carries emotion, movement and…a slight creepiness in the panels where the main characters look directly at you. It’s all a joy to take in.

Review Score: 5 (out of 7) All in all this is a solid read that uncovers some of the hidden character intentions all while preserving the trademark uncertainties of the book.All in all this is a solid read that uncovers some of the hidden character intentions all while preserving the trademark uncertainties of the book.

What did you think of issue? Let me know below in the comments or on Twitter (@theprophetlen)

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