‘Dept.H #23:’ Advance Comic Book Review

One more issue left. This issue, the one I’m writing about, is the penultimate issue of the team of Matt and Sharlene Kindt’s underwater murder mystery opus. A story that in 23 issues has spanned the distance from outer space to the depths of the ocean.  In its trajectory of discovering who a murderer is and why they murdered, we follow a group of scientists exploring the unexplored for answers, and we have done most of this in the headspace of Mia. Mia is the daughter of the head scientist who was murdered. Mia is the hero of our story, and she has gone on as arduous a journey through her memories as she has through the crumbling underwater research labs and caverns full of strange creatures. As far as I can tell, Mia’s memories and Mia’s experiences can’t be trusted. Her understanding of the truth is subject to just that: her own understanding of it. This has occurred on numerous occasions. This is why - knowing full well that twenty-three issues is a lot to weigh when you’re approaching the reveal of something - that I don’t fully trust her analysis of the situation. This is why I’m worried for her.

I’m genuinely worried for her because Matt and Sharlene Kindt’s work here has been beyond extraordinary. The visual aspects of the book have felt claustrophobic, surreal, expansive, and dangerous, and the storytelling has used the visuals to create a fluid passage between time and space.  The lettering work has tied it all together seamlessly, and Dept.H has been an immersive experience. (Pun intended!) A month is too long to wait…

Creative Team: Matt Kindt (story, art), Sharlene Kindt (colors), Daniel Chabon (editor)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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