August 15, 2022

Gabbing Geek

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Comic Review: The Department Of Truth Volume 1

A federal agent is transferred to a different agency, one that determines what is and isn't true.

Lots of up and coming comic writers may find some success working for DC and Marvel, but sometimes if you want to see what they can really do, you need to check out their work at Image.  That’s more creator owned, and they have a lot more leeway as a result.

Take for example writer James Tynion IV.  He has The Department of Truth over at Image, and it’s first volume, subtitled The End of the World, shows a man with some really interesting ideas that would never fly in Gotham City.

Cole Turner is a federal agent who keeps an eye on conspiracy theorists.  On a trip to a Flat Earth conference, he gets to meet some very wealthy folks who take him on a trip, one that shows them the Earth actually is flat.  Except it isn’t.  Not really.  Cole is soon recruited by Ruby to go work for the Department of Truth, a lesser-known government agency that in actuality determines what is and isn’t true,   See, in this setting, truth is determined by what people believe.  When enough people believe something is true, it actually becomes true.

Oh, and the director of the Department is Lee Harvey Oswald.

Once inside, Cole is tasked to work with Ruby to keep conspiracy theories from coming true.  The Earth has to stay round, the Satanic Panic has to have never happened, and nothing is really going on underneath the Denver International Airport.  However, there are downsides to this.  What grieving mother wouldn’t want to have her dead child back because he was really a crisis actor and not a victim of a mass shooting?

However, there are some other things to consider:  who gets to decide what the truth actually is?  There are some people that even Ruby seems to be unaware of, such as a mysterious woman in red with X-ed out eyes.  And why do so many people seem to want Cole?

Tynion’s work doesn’t always work for me, but when it does, it really does.  Here, it does.  It helps that artist Martin Simmons has a style that reminds me a little of the sort Dave McKean does when he does interior work and not just covers.  I mean, you can’t go wrong with something close to Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth.  Is this the sort of series I will rush out to read more of like other series I write up rather frequently?  Not quite, but it was an enjoyable experience nonetheless.

8.5 out of 10 unknowing husbands.

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