I first learned of Jonathan Hickman's Manhattan Projects about five years ago. The premise of the effort to build the first atomic bomb being a cover for a group of the world's leading scientists to engage in some truly gonzo activities had me hooked from the start. I purchased the first three volumes quickly, and then the next two as they were published. Yet for all of the fun of the basic idea, the series seemed to be losing steam, and when I learned that the delayed sixth volume was going to focus exclusively on my least favorite main character -- the dog-obsessed Yuri Gagarin -- I pretty much gave up on it.
Yeah, that was a mistake.
The sixth volume begins where the fifth volume leaves off, with the cosmonaut and Projects member docking at an intergalactic trading outpost. Still searching for his dog Laika, he quickly ends up in court for a parking violation, which proves to be the first of a series of misadventures involving a corrupt judge, a robot incapable of telling the truth, and a freed slave who wants to use macro spores to destroy the his enslavers' civilization. It's all edgy and wacky in a way that the series hasn't been for some time, and I finished it with my excitement for the series restored. Keep 'em coming, Hickman!