Advance Review: Truths Are Out There, But Must Be Contained In ‘The Department Of Truth’ #3

by Olly MacNamee

Summary

The Department of Truth #3 delivers a personal and tragic tale of one mourning mother. A mother open to suggestion, which causes problems for our men and women in black who are on the case. Looks like there may be more than one truth out there. And those others must be quashed to maintain the status quo.

Overall
9/10
9/10

There’s no horror worse than the horror’s of real life. And The Department of Truth #3’s “Monster of the Month” this time round are the sensationalist conspiracy theorists, pro-gun, pro-life right wing leaning celebs and in particular Alex Jones and his Info Wars bile.

This is a story told from the view of Mary. A mother who lost her son in a senseless school schooling, the likes of which Jones dismissed in the same way his doppelgänger does here. It’s a narrative perspective that certainly lets artist Martin Simmonds open up and deliver exceptional, elegant and symbolic painted pages to accompanying this emotional story. A story of tragedy, regrets, social media finger-pointing and above all a mother’s love for her lost boy. 

And a story of conspiracies gone bad. Of course, this is The Department of Truth where anything can happen and usually does as our mourning mother goes down the rabbit hole and enters into a potentially darker reality.

James Tynion IV delivers another spooky issue that resonates from the core concept that conspiracy theories can take root given enough credence and become reality. It’s a concept than in this issue causes much heart-ache as Mary seeks out the truth and nothing but the truth, even if her heart wants something else. 

It’s also an issue that feels like a self-contained story and while there is the odd reference, or clue, to keep the bigger story rolling, this felt like a more insular, emotionally charged affair as we zoom in onto Mary and her heart-breaking situation. How this will link to future issues is far too early to say, or whether this will be the pattern going forward, with each issue focussing on a different victim of conspiracies gone bad.  It certainly feels like the latter would certainly help expand this book and its run, but will that inevitably lead to ever decreasing returns with readers who may not have the patience to hang around if answers aren’t given too readily?

For now, and after only three issues, it’s too early to call which way these creators will steer their series. But for now, each issue brings with it its own creepiness and that all adds up to one crazy and twisted take on recent history, the power of social media, and more. A series that has more in common with magic realism than science fiction, and all the better for it. The truth may well be out there, but in this madcap world, there can be more than one truth.

The Department of Truth #3 is out this Wednesday 25th November from Image Comics.

Olly MacNamee

A unashamed DC Comics fan and sometime teacher for over 20 years! I got lucky and found the escape hatch. Now, I just read and write about comics all day long. Co-host of the ICE-Cast podcast and one third of the brains behind Birmingham's street art and graffiti festival High Vis Fest.

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