I honestly believe that I could write about The Department of Truth every week and never run out of things to say, or praise to heap upon it.
Like a lot of voracious comic collectors, I grab about twenty titles a week from my LCS, and like most people that buy that many books, I am always way behind on my read pile. To put things in perspective I just read the last issue of Die yesterday, and still have not read a single issue of the Fear State arc from Batman.
But The Department of Truth, I always make time to read this book.
The Department of Truth is everything that modern comics should be. The characters are interesting and compelling. The art is atmospheric and perfectly suited to the story. The plot is intriguing and unique, and most of all, it’s relevant to the modern world in ways that are both telling and terrifying.
This is the perfect book.
The first arc introduced us to the new reality of the Department of Truth, a shadowy secret organization dedicated to protecting reality. The world we live in is full of conspiracy theories, most of which are dismissed as too outrageous or impossible to be real, or at least that’s what we think. The truth is that all those conspiracies are real, or at least, could be real if enough people believe in them. It’s the job of the DoT to make sure that never happens.
But then, what happens when they can’t?
The second arc answers that question. When conspiracies become reality, director Lee Harvey Oswald calls in Hawk.
Volume 2 of The Department of Truth drops next month, so let’s give it a deep dive and see how the team manages to protect reality, and the cost that it takes on everyone.
Here’s the blurb:
Cole Turner thought he joined the right side of the war for the Truth. But now that he’s learning more about Lee Harvey Oswald’s tenure leading the Department, he’s not so sure. And as Tulpas start to gain a stronger foothold in the real world, Cole’s time to decide where he stands is running out…
The second arc of the smash-hit DEPARTMENT OF TRUTH from James Tynion IV (Batman) and Martin Simmonds (Dying is Easy) is collected here!
Collects THE DEPARTMENT OF TRUTH #8-13
Spoiler warning from here on out! I’m telling you now, you want to read The Department of Truth fresh for yourself before you have anything spoiled, so if you have not been picking it up, you might want to wait to read this until you have. Bookmark it and come back and tell me how right I was!
The character of Hawk is a welcome addition to the team, and one that adds a very important layer to the story, the jaded and disaffected cynic. Where everyone else falls in line with what Oswald has been telling them to do, with even Cole succumbing to Oswald’s manipulations to murder two reporters on the verge of discovering the truth, Hawk is a very different creature.
For one thing, Hawk is the only character that doesn’t seem afraid of Lee. Cole follows him because he thinks he has all the answers he seeks about his childhood boogie man come to life, and the others in the department seem to have a mixture of trust and fear for him, but Hawk seems to have nothing but scorn.
We’re introduced to Hawk as a fixer. When conspiracies become reality, Hawk uses a deep knowledge of human psychology and ancient mysticism, as well as the prevalence of internet pornography, to put reality back into shape. He takes a real interest in Cole, that verges on the manic, and before Cole knows it, he falls under Hawk’s spell, which is a very dangerous place to be. Hawk knows a lot more about Cole than he let’s on at first, and the nature of this relationship takes center stage in this arc.
Hawk takes Cole on a bit of a world tour, explaining to him the history of the department, and it’s attempts to use the power of belief to create a better America, one more in line with a vision of the future outlined by JFK before his assassination. Hawk reveals to Cole that Lee has been working just as hard, if not harder than their rivals The Black Hat, to alter reality to fit the manic dream of America as a city on a hill for the rest of the world, and as a result has no problem killing anyone that get’s in their way.
Hawk also takes Cole bigfoot hunting, and Tynion manages to take what could be a goofy two-parter and instead turn it into the most heart wrenching story in the entire series.
Spoilers aside, I don’t want to ruin issue 13 for anyone, but I will say a lot of new info comes out, and a lot of twists happened that I honestly did not expect. Even when I am expecting surprises and big reveals, this series always manages to defy expectations.
And the art, my god. I have never purchased original art before, but every time Simmonds posts his pages from this book online, my wallet screams in agony. I know I’m going to eventually cave and buy some, because the work is just that good.
So, if you have not already bought them, go out and pick up The Department of Truth, and if you have, buy the trade for a friend. I did, and now they are just as hooked as I am.
Until next week, stay safe!