REVIEW: ‘Department of Truth,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Department of Truth #1

Department of Truth #1 is published by Image Comics, written by James Tynion IV, art by Martin Simmonds and letters by Aditya Bidikar. FBI Special Agent Cole Turner researches conspiracy theories. But when he attends a flat earth conference he is witness to something he knows cannot be real. This experience will change Turner’s life, and what he does with it, forever.

Department of Truth #1 is a tricky story to talk about. It mostly exists to set up the big twist at the end of it’s narrative. And of course, I’d never spoil a story on you. So, I hope you will forgive me if I dance a round the plot a bit. I’ll give the tidbits I can and avoid the ones I can’t. This will be interesting. Any ways, let’s with the strongest aspect of Department of Truth #1, Tynion’s writing.

Tynion has been making quite a splash lately. If you’ve been following my Batman coverage for the last couple months you’ll be familiar with his work writing there. And while this book carries a much different tone that his work with the Caped Crusader, Tynion nonetheless delivers a strong character driven story.

The story here focuses almost exclusively on Agent Turner. Having been brought into a mysterious government organization for questioning, he is quickly established as a fairly regular guy. He’s nervous, has significant doubts about himself, as well as what he thinks he’s seen, and really just wants to get to go home and be with his husband. All in all, a fairly normal individual.

This normalcy that Tynion imbues Turner with makes his predicament all the more sympathetic. He got in over his head, and quickly found himself in circumstances he couldn’t believe. They say seeing is believing. But what if believing is seeing?

Department of Truth #1’s story is filled with all the heavy overtones you would expect from a conspiracy theory style narrative. Shadowy figures in black suits and strange circumstances flow freely from the story. While the issue itself focus primarily on a single conspiracy, I have no doubt that the story moving forward will expand into other shady situations.

Department of Truth #1

While I thoroughly enjoyed the story here, the art is another matter. While I can appreciate why this style of presentation was chosen for the story, it doesn’t really work for me. The painted frames often times look unfinished to me. Like artist Simmonds didn’t have time to give the images their proper details. While I’m sure this isn’t the case, the lack of clarity in many of the illustrations hurt the presentation for me.

Going out on a high note, we have Department of Truth #1’s lettering. Bidikar does a great job with the dialogue design in this story. Rather than simply applying the standard dialogue box template, something much more unique is utilized here. Much of the story is told with a sense of uncertainty. The fractured design of the dialogue boxes here does a great job of representing that uncertainty.

When all is said and done, Department of Truth #1 is an interesting first issue. The big reveal at the end is a bit hard to wrap your brain around, but at the same time presents too much possibility not to follow up on. It is as interesting a premise, as it is a terrifying one.

Department of Truth #1 is available now, wherever comics are sold.

 

 

Department of Truth #1
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TL;DR

When all is said and done, Department of Truth #1 is an interesting first issue. The big reveal at the end is a bit hard to wrap your brain around, but at the same time presents too much possibility not to follow up on. It is as interesting a premise, as it is a terrifying one.