The Manhattan Projects is what I would call “believable science fiction.” It’s clearly grounded in reality, set in Washington in 1942, of course based on the real-life Manhattan Project (the creation of the atomic bomb) yet twists it around in such fanciful turns, such a Death Buddhist-created portal full of Japanese samurai robots created by Soichiro Honda. The concept behind The Manhattan Projects is that the creation of the atom bomb is was actually just a cover-up for stranger government projects, such as the creation of artificial intelligence machines and the mining of other dimensions for material to create weapons. It’s as far-fetched as sci-fi gets, yet unlike a lot of sci-fi, it never gets too unbelievable for its own good, nor does it ever forget that it takes place in reality. The book’s main protagonist is physicist Robert Oppenheimer, appointed by the government to work on the creation of an atomic weapon. It also features his sadistic twin brother, Joseph, who is considered to be his brother’s “dark half.” Eventually the two brothers “merge” in the end, in a way in which I found reminiscent of the ending of Fight Club. Eventually, as he is known in real life, Robert Oppenheimer will become “J. Robert Oppenheimer.”

Nick Pitarra’s art is terrific. It seems to fit the tone of the book really well. His visions of real-life figures Leslie Groves, the real-life head of the Manhattan Project, and Albert Einstein (who has only a brief cameo in Groves’ captivity) look exactly as they should. Oppenheimer, for some reason looks much older than he does when these events occurred in real life. This, however is clearly deliberate on Pitarra’s part.

All in all this a great read for anyone who enjoys sci-fi, government conspiracy, and/or historical fiction. It seems to be a nice start of a good series, and I look forward to the next issue.

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