REVIEW: ‘The Department of Truth,’ Issue #5

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Department of Truth #5

The Department of Truth #5 is published by Image Comics, written by James Tynion IV, with art by Martin Simmonds, and letters by Aditya Bidikar. After shooting two reporters in possession of the truth about the Department, Cole heads home to try to process what he’s done. But the Black Hats are waiting for him there. And they want to make Cole an offer.

After having its first few issues be a scattering of random stories to get readers, and Cole, acquainted with how the world works, we see the true narrative behind The Department of Truth take form. And I must say, I can’t remember the last time a piece of fiction has had me feeling so inquisitive about the possibilities of what is to come or of what the truth will ultimately end up being. So rarely have I felt like I had so little clue about where a story will go next. To quote a popular meme, “The suspense is unbearable…I hope it lasts.”

While the story’s full picture is still shrouded in mystery, one thing The Department of Truth #5 makes abundantly clear is that Cole’s presence in the growing conflict between the Department and the Black Hats is no coincidence. As our story opens, Ruby is infiltrating a suspected Black Hats location. What she discovers is shocking, to say the least. Especially since every disconcerting thing she finds seems to have been left with the express intent of being found by the Department. And one of those things is a file about Cole.

As this scene plays out, Cole is on his way home from the altercation in the last issue. When he arrives, he finds his home to be occupied. And not by his husband. Giving any details about what comes of the following confrontation would be telling far too much. Suffice it to say, though, many questions get raised, with an infuriating lack of answers to follow.

The way Tynion manages to deliver just enough information without spoiling what he doesn’t want the reader to know is masterful. So much is said without saying the precise things that would ruin the mystery. It is tantalizing storytelling at its finest.

The art in The Department of Truth #5 continues to deliver the same story enhancing style and quality Simmonds has firmly established at this point. The emotions of the moments are captured wonderfully through the unique lens of the artist’s work. It continues to be the perfect visual for the story.

Like the art, the letter work here continues to provide the story with a pitch-perfect vehicle for the reader to receive it. The unique presentation hasn’t lost any of its strength as the issues roll on.

All things considered, I would have to call The Department of Truth #5 a new high water mark for the series. As it draws both Cole and the reader into its story, I become ever more engrossed by its unique, spellbinding work.

The Department of Truth #5 is available on January 27th, wherever comics are sold.

The Department of Truth #5
5

TL;DR

All things considered, I would have to call The Department of Truth #5 a new high water mark for the series. As it draws both Cole and the reader into its story, I become ever more engrossed by its unique, spellbinding work.