We’ve all been there: two issues in your hand, you can only afford one. What is the broke geek to do?! Sean Sorensen is here to guide you in your thrifty comics crusade by providing you with the one issue each week that’ll make you say, “Shut up, and take my $5!” It always feels good to get the most “BIF! BAM! POW!” for your buck, doesn’t it?
Robert Oppenheimer, the man who created the atomic bomb, beats the shit out of a horse.
I believe my editor would be rather displeased with a one-sentence review, even though that is all that is needed. I mean, come on! One of the greatest scientific minds in history. Beats the shit. Out of a ruddy horse!
But for you, reader, I shall soldier on.
[Ed. note: For the record, I think I would’ve preferred a one-sentence review over one containing six references to horse beating. C’est la vie. –DT]
Jonathan Hickman’s Manhattan Projects has been weaving an absolutely insane tale since its debut last year. Issue 10 is a call back to MP #1 where we discover that Robert Oppenheimer isn’t Robert Oppenheimer: he was actually killed by his twin brother Joseph, who then took Robert’s place. Joseph’s big problem? Aside from being a serial murderer, he has multiple personality disorder. And when I say “multiple” personalities, I’m talking “nearly infinite number of” personalities. There is a reason (I use that term loosely) to this rhyme, though: (at least some of) his personalities are reflections of a person he’s killed and summarily eaten. “Bat-shit crazy” doesn’t even come close to describing this guy.
In MP #10, we find Robert Oppenheimer waking up in what we can only assume is the mind of Joseph Oppenheimer. What follows is a glorious romp through the mind of an psychopath which includes red horses, giant sumo wrestlers fighting in a forest of phones, and Ninja Oppenheimer. It’s Oppenheimer vs. Oppenheimer for control of the mind. This may be the greatest thing to ever be put onto paper.
The art for Manhattan Projects is usually handled by Nick Pitarra but he steps aside this issue to give Ryan Browne (Smoke and Mirrors; God Hates Astronauts) a shot. I barely noticed. Pitarra’s art is very reminiscent of Frank Quitely, and Browne does a fantastic job keeping Pitarra’s tone… albeit with fewer squiggles. Browne really lets loose on drawing some absolutely crazy things – not the least of which is a man beating the shit out of a horse. And to be clear, this isn’t a “Mongo-in-Blazing Saddles” type of horse fight. This is a “UFC-meets-Mike Tyson” horse fight. Also, I’m pretty sure Hickman told him to draw as many different Oppenheimers as he could in one frame. I was a fan of Pirate Oppenheimer and Luchador Oppenheimer.
I won’t lie: if this is your first ever issue of Manhattan Projects, you will be a tad confused. This issue is the best comic of the week, but to wring all of the goodness out of it, I would recommend catching up on the earlier issues. It’s one of the best – if not the best – book on the shelves today, so it is a damn good investment.
To summarize: Oppenheimer beats up horse. Ninja Oppenheimer. Luchador Oppenheimer. GO BUY THIS BOOK!
An honorable mention this week goes to Thor: God of Thunder #6 for its great peek into the history of a god killer. If Manhattan Projects is a little too “out there” for you, Thor is the next best thing.