‘Dept.H #22:’ Comic Book Review

Issue #22 of Dept.H was quiet, tense, and sad, almost like a funeral march. I was surprised by the emotions that crept up on me while scanning each and every panel, looking for a way to figure this out for Mia. Looking for that clue that would solve the mystery and get her out of her predicament alive, even though with every panel it felt like the walls only became tighter around her. That’s how entwined I am with her story; we’re in this together.

I’ve spent the last 21 issues with Mia trapped in a treacherous environment: a science station 6 miles below the ocean. At Mia’s side, I’ve tried to figure out which person or persons killed her father, the brilliant scientist that headed Dept. H. I’ve tried to find the pieces that I could put together which have led me in and out of Mia’s memories while also trying to survive the collapse of the science station. I’ve felt trapped by Matt Kindt’s claustrophobic imagery and on edge by Sharlene Kindt’s colors. It’s become surreal and frightening; all of the characters, from Mia’s brother to the woman that had an affair with her lover, are as elusive as they were in the beginning. I feel like I understand their behaviors better, but not to the degree that they don’t surprise the hell out of me at every turn. Kindt has managed to do the near impossible by making us familiar with everyone, but hiding everything at exactly the same time.

Now, as Mia approaches the end of her journey, I can’t help but wonder what that means. What kind of victory will there be in any of this? What will Mia learn? What won’t she learn? What do the virus and the cure have to do with any of this? What? As sacrifices are being made, I reach out, wanting to embrace the end, and I can only hope everything is going to be okay…next month…


Creative Team: Matt Kindt (story, art), Sharlene Kindt (colors), Marie Enger (letters)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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