Heroes & Villain: The Department of Truth #1, Madame Satan #1

Yesterday it felt like proper Fall here in Michigan. The weather was cool, overcast, and a bunch of trees decided to start changing colors which helped add to the ambiance. It’s right on the edge of “just cool enough to still leave your windows open at night and not die of exposure.”

Generally, my Halloween season festivities begin in the last week of August but thanks to the state of the world right now along with climate change ensuring that most of September was in the mid-80’s…I’ve found it difficult to get into the spirit of things. I don’t even want to THINK about my local town canceling Trick or Treating (it’s a very real possibility). It’s not like I’ve gone Trick or Treating in close to three decades or that I pass out candy in the building that I live in but it bums me out to think of the kids that won’t get to go.

I could see Scorpion/Sub-Zero from Mortal Kombat or Hazmat suit being very popular costumes this year.

The Department of Truth #1
James Tynion IV (W)
Martin Simmonds (A)
Image Comics

Previously, I’ve written that James Tynion IV is one of those creators that gets an automatic “read” from me regardless of what he’s writing. It’s always a unique joy finding a creator that you can follow from publisher to publisher with the knowledge that you’ll be getting a quality yarn from them.

The Department of Truth is a book that’s had a not insignificant amount of heat behind it and I’ve been looking forward to checking it out. Here’s the blurb:

Cole Turner has studied conspiracy theories all his life, but he isn’t prepared for what happens when he discovers that all of them are true, from the JFK assassination to flat Earth theory and reptilian shapeshifters. One organization has been covering them up for generations. What is the deep, dark secret behind the Department of Truth? Bestselling writer JAMES TYNION IV (Batman, Something is Killing the Children) debuts his first Image ONGOING SERIES alongside breakout artist MARTIN SIMMONDS (Dying is Easy)!

It’s an interesting concept, I’ll give it that. Also, it just may be the book I’ve been waiting the last four years for.

Ever since the current regime in the US took power I’ve heard various commentators, luminaries, and people that make more money than me declaring that this is the era of “post-truth.” It doesn’t matter if something is factually true anymore and if enough people believe that something patently false is the truth…well, then it becomes true.

On my way from the comic shop last weekend I caught a snippet of conversation that included “…welll, if the Chinese DID create it in a lab then…” I wanted to ask these people how they could possibly be so dumb to believe that. This book feels very much like a response to living in a post-truth world.

Having previously enjoyed his work on Dying is Easy, I was geeked to see more work from Martin Simmonds. There’s a frenetic quality to his art that really lends itself to the story of a world where the truth is completely upside down.

The book ends on a real humdinger of a twist that, if I’m honest, I’m still not 100% sure I’m on board with…but I’m intrigued. If you can manage to read the book without having the twist spoiled, I’d encourage you to do so.

Advance Alert!

Madam Satan
Eliot Rahal (W)
Julius Ohta, Matt Herms, Jack Morelli (A)
Archie Comics

Hey, kids! Satan!

In MADAM SATAN #1, a spin-off of the mature readers horror series, CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA, the Queen of Hell tries to unseat the Devil and prove herself the most powerful being of the Underworld. The one-shot special is written by Eliot Rahal with art by Julius Ohta and Matt Herms and lettering by Jack Morelli.

I know I’m beating a dead horse when I write that Archie has stealthily become one of my favorite publishers of Horror comics. It was surprising but not unwelcome when I picked up the first issue of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and was grossed out and amazed in equal measure.

Madam Satan continues the trend of excellent Archie Comics Horror books and is perfectly timed for MAXIMUM HALLOWEEN with its release date on October 21st.

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