Matt Kindt is a massive talent. He is one of the few people in the industry where I feel his art matches his writing. I think the best thing I can call someone in this industry is original, and Matt Kindt is just that. Dept. H may not be his first, or even his most recognized work, but it is one of my favorites.
The story follows Mia, a special investigator hired to uncover a possible sabotage taking place at a deep-sea research station. The series is a “whodunit” featuring a cast of characters with outward traits ranging from kind and helpful to cold and suspicious. Like any good mystery, it is becoming apparent that things aren’t always what they seem. The book does a good job at playing with your preconceived notions, and keeping you distracted. Just when I feel like I have something figured out, disaster rears its ugly head again. This is what Mia is constantly dealing with in Dept. H. The closer she is to solving the murder of her father, the closer she is to death. She is not only fighting to solve the case, she is fighting for her life.
I like this book for many reasons, but one of my favorite things is that it reminds us that people are grey. There isn’t always a cut and dry suspect. Things like our own prejudices, paranoia, and other variables can skew our views on someone. Each issue does a good job of taking a look at why each of the crew members in Dept. H would kill Mia’s father, further messing with the reader.
This issue focuses on Mia, Roger, Aaron, and Jerome. Mia is with Roger as the crew is trying to stop the base from flooding, while Aaron went to go get Jerome who has been seemingly losing his mind. Things take a turn here, and we get some fantastic character development into Aaron’s history with Mia’s father, Hari. I am starting to feel the same claustrophobia and panic as the crew members.
The art is incredible, and I am not just referencing the brilliant work we usually see from Matt, but in the colors from Sharlene Kindt as well. The watercolors take this book over the top, and are such a beautiful contrast to the dark and dreary underwater setting. I probably looked at the jellyfish on the first page for a few minutes before I even read the story. You are truly getting art here, and I have to get some prints of this work to hang on my wall. The little sketches and notes in the beginning and ending of the book are nice touches and let us in the minds of the two talented Kindts if only for brief moments.
I highly recommend this book, and it is only getting better. If you have been reading the series, I probably don’t have to tell you to keep going. If you haven’t been, get caught up on the issues or get it in trade when the first volume drops in January. This is one of the best comics coming out this week, and one of the best comics coming out period.
Story: Matt Kindt Art: Matt Kindt Color: Sharlene Kindt
Story: 9 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review