Rating if the Book Were a Movie: R
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Martin Simmonds
Letters: Aditya Bidikar
Designer: Dylan Todd
Editor: Steve Foxe
Publisher: Image Comics
Over the past five issues “Dept. of Truth” has covered a range of conspiracy theories. From the JFK’s assassination to the moon landing to the true birthplace of President Obama this series has touched on them all. Some have been presented as nothing we haven’t heard before. Others have shown us enough plausibility to make one ask, “What if….?”
In issue #4 we saw agent Cole Turner shoot two reporters that “knew too much” to prove he belongs in the Dept. of Truth. When we move on to the next installment we see that Cole still hasn’t gotten over it. He can’t face his husband, Matt, and tell him what happened. How can he? The men Cole killed worked with Matt.
Trying to get away to gather his thoughts Cole finds himself face to face with Martin Baker. Mr. Baker is the leader of the group named Black Hat. From everything we’ve seen up to this point Black Hat has been viewed as the “bad guys”. Baker lets Cole in on a secret. When it comes to the truth, majority rules.
Given enough time the lie can become the truth. The lie can topple governments without firing a single shot. Then Baker asks Cole how many people have been killed in the name of “protecting the truth”. The issue wraps up with Cole needing time to think about everything Baker has asked him.
Artwork: .75 Stars
The artwork still reminds me a lot of the opening credits of Se7en. It is done to look like a camera that takes pictures just out of focus. It’s not detailed; but it works perfectly for the theme of this title.
Story: 1 Star
It was interesting to see all the “smaller” conspiracy theories are to some extent controlled by a bigger conspiracy theory. Mr. Baker makes a compelling argument regarding which horse Cole should really be backing.
Dialogue: 1 Star
Mr. Baker’s conversation with Cole was eye-opening. The best villain is the one that can make you question if they really are the villain. Those few pages were incredible!
Editing: .75 Stars
The lettering itself continues to be terrific. The way that the balloons are done is still a bit of a distraction. My gut tells me that’s going to be the way it is for the duration of the series.
Mechanics: 1 Star
As much as I enjoy conspiracy theories, it was a nice change of pace to have a story that focused on Cole. Dialing it back in and letting the reader see more of what life for Cole is like away from the agency helps us learn more about him.
“Dept. of Truth” #5 is a thriller that will make the reader change the way they see the world… After they’ve already had their perspective completely changed from the first four books. It’s too soon to say if “Dept. of Truth” is going to be the best series we see in 2020. So far it makes a case that proves it deserves to be in the discussion.