‘Dept.H #19:’ Advance Comic Book Review

In a way, this issue of Dept.H is the beginning of the next story arc in what is an ongoing murder mystery series that is both microscopic and macroscopic, personal and world changing. At the end of issue #18, Matt Kindt left us with a big question mark. Mia - our investigator and daughter of the murdered genius scientist who put together not only the underwater scientific base, but the crew on board it - found herself in a small capsule at the bottom of the ocean with no power and very little oxygen. With her is the remaining crew, one of which may have killed her father. It’s one of those resting moments, where a story plateaus for a moment. In this case, it was quiet…claustrophobic. It ended a section of the story in a way that spelled oblivion.

This new issue begins moments after the last. Where does one’s mind wander in such a case? After having escaped the now destroyed Dept.H, and the adrenaline of surviving having worn off, Mia’s mind wanders back to who may have killed her father and why. Kindt reveals some new information in this issue through the eyes of another character that we’ve only gotten to know a little bit. It makes this issue pop with vitality in a really cool way. It's very different from a lot of the other issues, as it takes on an almost action, espionage vibe. At the same time, Kindt ratchets up the tension of our grounded crew and gives us a new goal over the next several issues.

Kindt is really good at doing this: finding new ways to keep us invested in the journey, finding new obstacles that still promise the smallest chances of hope on the other side.

Another thing I noticed in this issue are all of the elements that look like spiders that have several legs. It feels like a visual theme, maybe a subtle way to elude to the fact that Mia is stuck in a web, a conspiracy. Now, it’s all about finding out who the spider(s) are.

Issue #19 is another amazing issue in an incredible series.

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