Welcome back to another amazing edition of THIS JUST IN! The comic reviews done for The Comic Hunter, by your favorite fat guy, Fat Adam. This week I wanted to “dive” (get it! Seriously, I have so many puns this week) into a new title (well new to April) entitled Dept.H.
Dark Horse Comics is known for releasing some decently ground breaking work, and the cover of this one had me salivating. I enjoy the broken name to make it have multiple meanings, and I especially enjoy it calling itself an underwater murder mystery. Seriously, how can this not be fun. Matt and Sharlene Kindt team up on this thrill ride, to give us the story of Mia and Q, two divers who work for a company known as USEAR (Underwater Science Exploration and Research) through the ownership of her fathers company. This government run organization is like any other, trying to hide it’s mistakes, well as much as you can call a murder a mistake.
This story develops rather quickly, and does a fairly good job of keeping the reader involved, but there is a lot of flashbacks driving the actual story along. The main plot is only reached near the end after meeting a slew of characters, which I am sure will become minor roles at some point, but in a first issue I was really hoping to get a bigger bang in the beginning.
The story progresses nicely though, and we learn all about Mia and her family’s company. We learn about the people who care for her, and those who couldn’t care less.
When we reach Dept. H., which is more than seven miles below sea level, we meet a whole team of scientists who are working down there. We meet an old friend (not a lot explained yet) and some new ones as well. The only thing Mia knows, is that one of them is a murderer, and killed her own father.
Honestly, it is a fun play on an old timey murder mystery, but it does feel a lot like Wake. It has a lot of tenacity, mixed with interesting characters. Mainly though, it leaves the old cliches at the door, and has you knocking on a new one.
ALL IN ALL
My thoughts on the book are fairly straight forward.
The writing was good, albeit a little long winded some times. The overall feel and build up of the story and characters felt realistic, BUT the “big twist” that it was her father murdered, was like watching a 1970’s horror film. You saw it coming a mile away. Not saying it wasn’t dramatic seeing how it happened, but we all knew it happened immediately.
The art work is dirty, gritty, and all around messy. I liked it. I thought the art was good for the style of story, with the characters involved. I honestly was happy to learn of this team, just to get to see their work be revealed.
There were a couple of spots that the lettering was not good. Quite bad I would say, but the overall mood and theme of the comic is that it is a really solid piece.