Andy Naylor reviews Image Comics The Manhattan Projects #13…
“After a decade of working together to overcome everything that stood against them, fractures begin to form between the scientists of the Manhattan Projects. The thrilling Feel Good, Bad Science series continues in The Manhattan Projects #13: Piece By Piece!“
The Manhattan Projects looks at history through a very disturbing point of view. The World’s best scientists have joined forces and the people of earth should rejoice… or should they?
I’m new to this series of comics so it took a little while getting into it and understanding what was happening. So, my first piece of advice, read them from the beginning, otherwise you will be as bemused and puzzled as I was at first. This is not a series that you can simply jump in half way through and get straight into the flow of what’s happening. You will get more enjoyment out of starting from the beginning.
Next, I must address the cover art. If truth be told it looks like a placeholder page that is waiting for the finished cover to be added to it. While this is consistent with the series as a whole, it fails to grab the reader’s interest. I am all for breaking away from the traditional covers of comics, but I would prefer to see something more interesting to help it stand out.
I really did enjoy the twisted and malevolent take on some of history’s most recognised faces. From Einstein, an experimental butcher of cadavers, to a coke snorting tripping-off-his-face President Kennedy. The playful poking fun was amusing and cleverly executed. However, I suspect at some point there will be the odd letter of complaint from a humourless reader which will make Jonathan Hickman’s day. I would prefer it if the comic would choose a story thread or two and stick to them. All this jumping around between the various projects leaves you feeling dizzy and tired. This kind of storytelling seems to be a bleed off from TV, which isn’t always a bad thing. But at the same time there is nothing wrong with simply linear storytelling too. Quite often, simple is best. I’d like to see a bit more simple.
The colouring leaves a lot to be desired in The Manhattan Projects #13. In particular, I found it to be quite bland and dull, lacking any kind vividness. There is colour there to be used; it just seemed subdued and underutilised. The drawings themselves were, for the main, good. The only issue I did have is that each character’s face seemed to be a bit busy. There were too many wrinkles here, too much stubble there. I must stress, they weren’t done poorly, it just distracted me in each panel and anything that drags the reader out of the story shouldn’t be there.
It’s not a bad comic, I couldn’t say “avoid it like the plague” and neither could I say “you must read this!” There’s better and worse out there.
Andy Naylor – Follow me on Twitter.