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Department Of Truth 4 Main

"The Department of Truth #4" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Image Comics

article-cover

Written by James Tynion IV
Illustrated by Martin Simmonds
Lettered by Aditya Bidikar
2020, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on December 23rd, 2020

Review:

Cole Turner is still settling in at his new job at the Department of Truth. He's learned the basics as to what the group is fighting and the horrors it's trying to put down before they change the world for the worse. When a couple of reporters start sniffing around, he's tested as to how far he's willing to go in order to keep the organization's existence a secret.

You know how a joke isn't funny if you have to explain it? That's how I feel about The Department of Truth #4. Writer James Tynion IV firmly establishes the rules of this world and the terrifying possibilities that could pop up over the first three issues. This one over-explains it, using further examples to show how the latest political conspiracies like Pizza Gate and the Deep State could plant a seed in reality. It's completely unnecessary at this point.

This is a bummer, as we're coming off one of the scariest single issues I've read all year with The Department of Truth #3. There is literally a double-page spread in this book where two reporters talk through twelve separate examples of weird shit they got pointing them in the direction of this clandestine group. It kills any and all momentum the series has built up so far.

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Fortunately, the story comes around again by the end, although not to the heights seen in the previous chapter. Cole has been somewhat mild-mannered throughout the series, however he's plagued by his own encounters with some unexplained entities from his past. Is his yearning to get to the bottom of this enough to push him over the edge?

Letterer Aditya Bidikar keeps things moving with a wholly unique style that fits so well in this book. Each word balloon looks like it was hastily cut out of a newspaper for a ransom note or quickly scrawled over redacted information as part of a cover up.

As usual, Martin Simmonds' artwork is nothing short of amazing. I am continually impressed by Simmonds' ability to use this medium to visualize big concepts in such a fascinating way. Imagine walking through a hologram world, where anything you think or say could pop up in front of you. That's kind of like how this works, with images of politicians, flags, and demons swirling around the characters as they talk through these complex ideas. This would have been a super dry issue if not for this incredible artwork.

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The color work is off the charts in these sequences, with reds rising up like flames from Hell to signify the chaotic and dangerous nature of the insidious Black Hat organization. Just in case you couldn't tell, these guys are up to no good. Although, some of the actions Cole is forced to take will make you question who the bad guys really are.

Another chunk of The Department of Truth #4 is seen as a surveillance video of the two reporters. The images are grainy with lines across them to give them that closed circuit TV vibe and it works to further the conspiracy angle considerably.

After some incredible opening issues, The Department of Truth plateaus with this chapter. We already know the basics, so there's no need to show us even more examples. You had me at lizard men and flat-Earthers in the first issue. I'm eager to see what Black Hat is up to and how they plan to effectively destabilize the world with their actions. It's clear that no one is getting out of this without blood on their hands.

Grades:

Story: Twoandahalfstars Cover
Buy from Amazon US.
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Buy from Amazon UK.
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Art: fivestars
Overall: 3 Star Rating

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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