The atomic bomb remains perhaps one of the most brilliant and most heinous inventions of the human race, and the issues surrounding its creation, in science, politics, and war are the focus of this cautionary tale. Jim Ottaviani, a science Academic librarian, has ably traced the beginnings of the race to capture the secret of the atom through to the triumph and tragedy of the atom bomb’s first test. Ottaviani excels at portraying the men involved, including Enrico Fermi, Albert Einstein, Neils Bohr, and Richard Feynman. However, this story focuses on the leader of them all, Los Alamos director Robert Oppenheimer, a fine scientist and a persuasive and diplomatic middle-man between the group of scientists and the military. The success of these scientists’ creation is certainly double-edged, and Oppenheimer himself was scrutinized and persecuted over questions of his loyalty to the U.S. The artwork is by a number of fine creators, all in elegant black and white, though Oppenheimer’s interrogation at the finish is formatted in an unfortunately confusing manner. This title remains powerful look at a defining moment of the 20th century, provoking the reader to question invention at all costs and voicing a very simply warning: just because we can do something doesn’t always mean that we should.
Fallout: Robert Oppenheimer, Leo Szilard, and the Political Science of the Atomic Bomb
by Jim Ottaviani
Art by Janine Johnston, Chris Kemple, Steve Lieber, Vince Locke, Bernie Mireault, Eddy Newell, Jeff Parker, Tom Orzechowski, Nate Pride
GT Labs 2001