Pipedram Pull List: The Manhattan Projects #1 (Image Comics)

Manhattan Projects Comics issue 1It’s going to be a bit of a Jonathan Hickman special this week for the Pipedreamcomic Pull List. First up is his new creator owned series The Manhattan Projects published Image Comics. We’ve been fans of Hickman for a while here on Pipedream Comics thanks to his excellent run on Fantatstic Four and the new Ultimates, but with The Manhattan Projects it’s a return to his earlier pre-Marvel work (but more of that later).

Manhattan Projects is essentially an alternative history of the atomic bomb project, set in a world of telepathy and aliens more reminiscent of Dark Horse’s BPRD than a dry old history book about physicists! It tells the story of the arrival of Robert Oppenheimer to the project, but also of his relationship with his twisted twin brother, Joseph. Told in a series of split-screens, it uses colour brilliantly to juxtapose to the two characters’ very different back stories. With fantastic art by  Nick Pitarra,whose work is reminiscent of Geof Darrow and Frank Quitely, it has an ultra detailed and textured feel which counter balances the brilliantly stark graphics of the cover. It gets especially Darrow-esque with the invasion of Death Buddhas (Japanese Samurai robots) half way though, as they attempt to thwart the project and provides a bit of drama and action to really liven up the book.

With it’s dark and twisted undercurrent, this is going to be much more than just an alternative history cum parody of the atomic bomb project, and with the twist at the end, it sets the rest of the series off in a very intriguing direction. We can’t wait for issue #2!

Also available this month is a collection of Hickmans creator owned titles called Test Pattern. included in there are the brilliant The Nightly News, but also Pax Romana, Transhuman, A Red Mass for Mars and Red Wing for the grand total of £24.99. Although not cheap, you get a hell of a lot of comics for your money, but if that is a bit pricey for you though, make sure to check out the sample pack of issue 1s which are available for free, and might even persuade you to part with your cash and get the whole lot. Alternatively each volume is available for £5.49 (or £6.99 for The Nightly News)

The Manhattan Projects are available from Comixology and the Image Comics app for £2.49 with Test Pattern available for £24.99 or check out the first issues of all 5 series available for free.