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Department Of Truth 5 Main

"Department of Truth #5" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Image Comics


Written by James Tynion IV
Illustrated by Martin Simmonds
Lettered by Aditya Bidikar
2021, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on January 27th, 2021


Since The Department of Truth started, there has been a polar opposite organization known as Black Hat working in the shadows. This has been working to destroy the Department's work, encouraging the horrifying conspiracy theories that can change reality itself. What is group and who leads them? This issue provides a different perspective on what we've seen to date and it's just as chilling as the rest.

Much of The Department of Truth has been explanation as writer James Tynion IV delves into this fascinating and terrifying idea. Every strange conspiracy theory can be real if enough people believe in it. The fact that an organization is out there encouraging all of this is a little too close to reality right now with everything that's been going on in the news lately. That's just part of what makes this such a chilling read.

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I criticized the last issue for over-explaining things, however it did lead to a huge moment for Cole, the Department's newest recruit. It sets up this chapter perfectly, as he has doubt in his mind about the good intentions of his new employer. That doubt is the perfect target for Black Hat to exploit. Letterer Aditya Bidikar's work is a perfect fit for this book. The word balloons look like they're haphazardly cut out of other paper, like they're ransom notes.

The real scary thing in The Department of Truth #5 is that you can see where Black Hat is coming from. Maybe they're not wrong. This shadowy organization is painted as the villain, but it certainly doesn't see itself that way. Tons of details are revealed, not only about Black Hat and the Department of Truth, but about Cole himself. This issue is a game-changer.

Artist Martin Simmonds is an all-star in The Department of Truth. He creates a moody and unsettling atmosphere with every page. The angles are askew, as if the whole world is thrown off balance, which is very much what Cole is going through as he's rocked by these new revelations.

Click images to enlarge

Simmonds moves seamlessly between reality and symbolic imagery as Cole learns the truth...or at least a version of the truth from this visitor. It instantly conveys the weight of this stuff. Each image could be a poster or album cover alone, taking patriotic shots of American flags and government officials and putting a sinister spin on them.

The Department of Truth is a reading experience unlike any other. The story is just close enough to reality that you can see it actually happening. That presents an entirely different kind of horror from the likes of vampires and werewolves. This hits deep, right at your core and it will stay with you for some time.


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Overall: 4.5 Star Rating

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About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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