By Jonathan Hickman, Nick Pitarra & Jordie Bellaire
There’s really no way anything can beat the sheer weirdness of the Manhattan Projects at this point. This is a series that never ceases to amaze with its bizarre characters and aberrant curiosities. It’s not about shock or repulsive scenarios though, as the interesting and unique story really carries the book. While this story did seem to be in a bit of a lull recently, issue #17 has really picked things back up.
The latest installment in Jonathan Hickman’s tale of science gone bad felt much more cohesive than the previous few issues had. While there are the typical jumps between “then” and “now,” everything fits together much better this time and MP #17 had a great flow to it. The issue was briskly moved along through an exciting extraplanetary hunting expedition with a surprising outcome, the insane-as-ever Oppenheimer prying information from the rest of the group, and a chatty alien wreaking havoc on the military installment. This issue was exciting to say the least and it was probably one of the more action-packed books in the series. It seems like the characters get more and more cruel with each month, but Hickman manages to maintain an excellent sense of humor throughout, with some particularly great one-liners scattered throughout issue #17.
It really felt like Nick Pitarra was revitalized by MP #17 as well; some of the panels had recently felt a bit more rushed or incomplete compared to the earlier books. However, the detail in this latest installment was top-notch in terms of both character features and environmental detail. The visuals were clear, precise, and always interesting. This is, of course, enhanced by the phenomenal Jordie Bellaire and her magnificent color work which has quickly become an immediate fan-favorite. As with the story and illustrations, the colors in MP #17 felt renewed, vibrant and well-detailed.
The latest issue of the Manhattan Projects is definitely one of the best in a while, potentially a new favorite from the series overall. Everything about this issue flowed incredibly well and the story was exciting throughout. Fans of the series will be pleased to see another top-notch effort by this amazing creative team.