REVIEW: ‘The Department of Truth,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Department of Truth #2 

The Department of Truth #2 is published by Image Comics, written by James Tynion IV, art by Martin Simmonds and letters by Aditya Bidikar. Having learned that the nature of our world is more malleable than he ever could guess, Agent Cole now must face the ramifications that things he once believed impossible might be true. At least, some of the time. This realization forces him to face an episode of his life he knew wasn’t true. That was a manipulation of his childhood self. Unless it wasn’t.

With the true nature of the universe revealed, this issue gets to start what I imagine will be a series sorties into the weird, and possibly true. And The Department of Truth #2 wastes no time in getting to the weird.

This issue opens with a recording of a child talking about a disturbing interaction it has had with a strange man. This man is described as wearing a Dracula Cloak and having a pentagram carved into his face. The child claims he was eating a baby and telling him none of it was real.

Fast forward to the present and we quickly learn the child in question is our own Agent Cole. During a tense discussion with his husband, Cole reveals that his recent work has dragged the old memory back up. Despite the difficulties the two are clearly going through, we see a touching moment of compassion and support on the part of Cole’s spouse.

Shortly thereafter, Cole is picked up by Ruby and they stop at a local pancake house for some breakfast on their way to the office. This scene serves two good purposes. First, it helps further establish Ruby as a character. Here we get a chance to see how she deals with Cole in his agitated state.  And while there are moments where she comes across a bit unfeeling, over all, she cares. As she strives to help Cole wrap his mind around things we see this scene’s other strength. The reinforcing of what is actually going on.

 

The Department of Truth #2 takes this moment to reiterate how the world works. Which I for one appreciate. As I’m not sure my mind will ever fully wrap itself around the laws of nature and history being warped and changed by public consensus. It’s just a tough concept to consider.

As their talk draws to a close Cole informs Ruby of his childhood experience and wants to know if any of it is/was ever real. Ruby tells him they can look into it once they get to HQ and she takes him to Rock Bottom.

As you have probably figured out by now, The Department of Truth #2 is a further setup issue for the series. With issue one having been devoted to establishing the core concept of the series, issue two now gets the ball rolling on the initial story. This proves to be less of a problem than one would expect given how interesting the concepts being dealt with are. That, combined with the genuine emotion found in a couple of spots, makes for a thoroughly interesting read. It’s a sign of great writing when setup can be go by smoothly and without cause for complaint.

While the art for The Department of Truth #2 continues to have some struggles for me personally, it works better here than it did in it’s predecessor. With the images of the strange man from Cole’s past feeling perfect for the style. The disturbing nature of the moment really coupled well with the art style. Even for me.

Lastly, Bidikar’s lettering style works well with the overall presentation. Its imperfect dialogue boxes goes well with the art, as well as some of the more emotional moments in the book.

When all is said and done, The Department of Truth #2 continues to build an interesting concept as it sets readers up for Agent Cole’s first challenges at his new job.

The Department of Truth #2 is available October 28th wherever comics are sold.

 


Department of Truth #2
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TL;DR

When all is said and done, The Department of Truth #2 continues to build an interesting concept as it sets readers up for Agent Cole’s first challenges at his new job.