JFK, out of his mind on heroin and conspiracy theories, calls a desperate meeting with Vice President Lyndon B Johnson to discuss the sheer number of people that have become enemies of the presidency. Clothed in cowboy boots, a large belt buckle and packing both guns and a no-nonsense attitude, Johnson is ready to go find two agents that disappeared after visiting Los Alamos. The Russians, meanwhile, are on a secret mission of their own. Plotting to put the brain of a rapidly disintegrating man into the healthy body of another, a robot/bear/alligator/wolf creature helps to locate Fidel Castro and Che Guevara to use their bodies for the procedure.
No, I am not making any of this up. For those who have never picked up Jonathan Hickman’s The Manhattan Projects, it is a collection of crazy random events loosely based around people who may or may not have been alive at the time of the creation of the atomic bomb and the Cold War era. It is violent, gritty and bizarre. Nick Pittara’s art work is often a combination of great skill and nightmares. Jordie Bellaire keeps the colors to a bleak feel, much like a late night viewing of a Cold War propaganda film. The portrayal of Lyndon B Johnson as a shoot-first-ask-questions-later kind of guy is hilarious. All cowboy boots and Texas wrangling, Johnson’s caricature fits about just as well as any in the series so far.
Manhattan Projects is not a straightforward read. It is certainly not for everyone, but the insanity of it is addictive. The bizarre interpretation of World History is a great deal more fun than anything that really happened during the Cold War.
Manhattan Projects #23 is now available from Image Comics.