‘Dept.H #8:’ Advance Comic Book Review

In Issue #7 of Dept.H, by slowing Mia’s personal story down a little, Matt Kindt managed to heighten the tension considerably. The last issue was phenomenal, and in this issue, my heart was racing. Kindt has found a perfect device to really spend time getting to know the characters surrounding our hero as she searches for her father’s killer on an underwater research facility that is collapsing around its crew.

Mia, the daughter of the murdered science genius, is so relentless that even when she’s closer to dying in an absolutely unbearable way than most will ever have to experience, she continues her interrogation. She’ll take the answers to her grave – literally.

While she asks questions about a certain crew member, we follow that crew member around the facility attempting to accomplish a task. You’re left not only wondering if they are good or bad, but if they’ll live or die, while at the same time wondering if Mia is going to live or die. It’s a crap shoot, and everyone is rolling dice.

From the cover of the book to the final page, this is the most claustrophobic I’ve felt reading this comic book. Kindt capitalizes on this by sticking to close-up images of our heroes, boxing them in between walls and water. There’s never a shot without water rising, dripping, gushing – there’s no escape from it, as the supposedly safe area is overtaken by this oppressive element. It’s ingenious storytelling with colors by Sharlene Kindt that bring each confined space to realistic life.  In addition, the lettering by Marie Enger details every moment, heightening its effectiveness.

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