I just got to read the first volume of Manhattan Projects, a comic series by Jonathan Hickman, and I must say I got hooked.
I’m a big fan of sci-fi and I’m also quite the avid history reader. Manhattan Projects mashes this up by adding a certain twist to the well-known US program; the one that produced the atomic bomb, showed the world its potential destruction, and ushered the nuclear age. In this alternate universe, the Manhattan Projects isn’t just exploring the potential of the atomic bomb, but also other areas of science, like you know…parallel universes and alien empires.
The members of the original Manhattan Projects are each given a unique twist. With Einstein being an alternate universe Einstein (he switched with the original), Oppenheimer is a cannibalistic schizophrenic who is actually the bad twin (killed the good twin and took his identity), and Roosevelt is resurrected as this sort of AI computer. Long-story short each of them got a doze of weird sci-fi backgrounds, or personalities like being a narcissist or something.
The first volume doesn’t really provide that much on the plot or the general direction of the series, but it does add a lot of interesting things to the mix. The main focus of the volume was to introduce the characters and their particular trait. It also served to establish the world that they would be exploring later on. It also presents some particular plot devices that may be of focus on the following volumes, like Silii Empire, or that strange portal thingy made by Einstein (I forgot what that is), or further exploration of Oppenheimer’s real identity along with Einstein. It also introduces intrigue like, what is alternate Einstein’s real motive, or does Oppenheimer really have any ulterior motives or something. Seriously, the portrayal of both oozes with villainy.
I also love that the following volumes would explore the alien aspects a lot deeper, with the alien plot line coinciding with the Apollo Lunar Program.
For the first volume, it really draws in readers with its interesting approach to historical icons, adds crazy personalities to each one of them, and puts a lot of sci-fi devices to the mix. The art is not that bad, too. Plus, its minimalist covers are easy to the eyes!
Seriously, it’s worth the read and you get to have some history lessons, too. Just don’t take it literally or the next time you take an exam, you’ll be getting failing marks for that.