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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? From bestselling writer JAMES TYNIO 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? From bestselling writer JAMES TYNION IV (BATMAN, SOMETHING IS KILLING THE CHILDREN) and breakout artist MARTIN SIMMONDS (DYING IS EASY)! Collects DEPARTMENT OF TRUTH #1-5


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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? From bestselling writer JAMES TYNIO 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? From bestselling writer JAMES TYNION IV (BATMAN, SOMETHING IS KILLING THE CHILDREN) and breakout artist MARTIN SIMMONDS (DYING IS EASY)! Collects DEPARTMENT OF TRUTH #1-5

30 review for The Department of Truth, Vol 1: The End of the World

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    We’ve all heard the conspiracy theories: who was really behind the JFK assassation, the moon landings were faked, Flat Earth theory, crisis actors and false flag events, and the Illuminati - the secret group controlling the governments of the world. But what if they were all true? Cole Turner is head-hunted by the secret Department of Truth and enters the shadow war that’s been going on for decades between the Department and another clandestine group called Black Hat - a group whose members incl We’ve all heard the conspiracy theories: who was really behind the JFK assassation, the moon landings were faked, Flat Earth theory, crisis actors and false flag events, and the Illuminati - the secret group controlling the governments of the world. But what if they were all true? Cole Turner is head-hunted by the secret Department of Truth and enters the shadow war that’s been going on for decades between the Department and another clandestine group called Black Hat - a group whose members include a woman in a red dress with black crosses for eyes and the Devil himself… James Tynion IV and Martin Simmonds’ The Department of Truth, Volume 1: The End of the World touches on the interesting ideas of conspiracies permeating our culture and systems of control, without really cohering them into a good comic that makes much sense or is all that fun to read. Like all of Tynion’s comics, he manages to overwrite each page without creating a clear or compelling story at the end of it all. I was never sure what was going on or what the story was besides that The Department of Truth and Black Hat butt heads and both seem to want Cole to join them, though we don’t know why Cole is so important (I’m sure we’ll find out in later books but I’m not hanging around for that). At first I thought the Department was making sure the truth of the conspiracies didn’t come out, but then later on we find out that Black Hat is manufacturing evidence to support these conspiracies and the suppression of that evidence is what the Department is really trying to do. Also - in a way we’re never told - Black Hat have the ability to turn collective belief in fringe theories into reality. What?! So, if I understand that correctly, that means that if enough people believe that the Earth is flat and there is an ice wall at the edge then that somehow transforms into reality?! That makes no sense. And I guess - because we’re never told; again because Tynion is a feeble writer - the motivation/goal is some kind of power struggle/control over the masses? Except this is the dumbest version of that concept. I was never pulled into or cared about the story because I didn’t understand what was happening or why or what the stakes were (maybe make clear what happens if dangerous conspiracies do get a foothold in the real world?), and not a lot happened anyway besides numerous sequences of dreary exposition that failed to land. Exploring conspiracy theories though remains interesting and that first issue isn’t bad - I do think there’s a great book to be written on this subject even if this one falls well short of realising that. To those of you who know comics, Martin Simmonds’ art screams ‘90s Vertigo. Think every Bill Sienkiewicz or Dave McKean comic, or Duncan Fegredo’s art in Kid Eternity, and that’s what you get here. To those of you who don’t know those names, it means the art is overly scratchy, deliberately messy, highly “stylised” art that’s horrendous to look at. I’ve never liked this art style and I didn’t like it here. Tynion’s popularity continues to bamboozle me. He’s such a bad writer! I’ll put it down to what I call the Hickman effect, who’s another awful writer with an unfathomably huge following. This could’ve been a decent comic if a decent writer were at the helm but it’s Tynion so this turned out to be a convoluted, confusing mess of murky, half-baked ideas and sloppy storytelling with matching chaotic, grimy art. The Department of Truth, Volume 1: The End of the World is boring, trite nonsense. That said, the Denver Airport probably is satanic…

  2. 4 out of 5

    Artemy

    Holy shit, James Tynion. He’s grown so much as a creator and has been very good on most of his recent books, but this? It’s a damn revelation, and a book that puts him at the very top tier of modern comic writers. And Martin Simmonds, hot damn. Absolutely stunning comic in every way. It’s been a while since I’ve had a series I’ve been this eager to pick up every month.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Wakizashi

    Do you believe that the Earth is flat? If enough people believe it, then it could become true. Lee Harvey Oswald points this out in the first issue of this collection. Is he running the Department of Truth? Or is he trying to take it down? And what the heck has Alex Jones got to do with it all? If you are not careful he may just "eat your ass"! This was a fun read which pretends to take itself more seriously than it does. Or does it? By hiding it all in plain sight, is James Tynion exposing the Do you believe that the Earth is flat? If enough people believe it, then it could become true. Lee Harvey Oswald points this out in the first issue of this collection. Is he running the Department of Truth? Or is he trying to take it down? And what the heck has Alex Jones got to do with it all? If you are not careful he may just "eat your ass"! This was a fun read which pretends to take itself more seriously than it does. Or does it? By hiding it all in plain sight, is James Tynion exposing the "truth"? Or should that be the TRUTH(c)? "I want to believe!" If only it all wasn't so unbelievable. The art is very atmospheric and reminds me of Bill Sienkiewicz: dark, scratchy and creepy. If you are looking for something a bit different, this could be for you.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chris Lemmerman

    We all know what makes something true - proof. But what if what made something true was something else entirely? What if you could make something true, just by believing in it? Cole Turner finds himself trapped in a deadly game between the Department Of Truth and a shady organisation named Black Hat, who are out to ensure that all of the conspiracy theories you think might be true, actually are. Even if they absolutely shouldn't be. This latest brainchild from James Tynion IV is a peculiar little We all know what makes something true - proof. But what if what made something true was something else entirely? What if you could make something true, just by believing in it? Cole Turner finds himself trapped in a deadly game between the Department Of Truth and a shady organisation named Black Hat, who are out to ensure that all of the conspiracy theories you think might be true, actually are. Even if they absolutely shouldn't be. This latest brainchild from James Tynion IV is a peculiar little book, but after the first issue, I was totally hooked. The premise is super intriguing, and while I don't know a lot about American conspiracy theories, Tynion IV does enough of the groundwork to let me fill in the gaps. He also manages to humanise the story by populating it with a good lynchpin in Cole, and a supporting cast of characters that are quirky and weird all in their own right, as well as by hammering Cole's story right into the heart of the battle of the conspiracy theories. The art takes a little more getting used to. Martin Simmonds' visuals can be a tad out there at times, like a very abstract Alex Maleev, but he knows when to reign it in for the actual human conversations, which makes the insane stuff that goes on as the story progresses pop even further. There are a lot of double page spreads full of exposition that Simmonds manages to sell with creepy visuals, making dumps of information something ghoulish that you can't look away from. I think it's well-established at this point that I basically love everything Tynion IV writes, but this one is very different to anything else he's done before. A unique idea presented in a very grounded way with peculiar artwork really goes a long way to ensure that the Department Of Truth stands out from the crowd.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Simon

    Stunning to look at and chilling to read, The Department of Truth is Tynion's second big success of 2020 (the first one being the excellent anthology Razorblades, seek it out if you haven't.) It's ostensibly set in the "real" world that we live in, except there people can bring anything into life by simply believing it. The reptilian overlords, the flat earth, you name it. This is both a very interesting hook for a thriller and a reasonably timely take on the modern society, what with "fake news Stunning to look at and chilling to read, The Department of Truth is Tynion's second big success of 2020 (the first one being the excellent anthology Razorblades, seek it out if you haven't.) It's ostensibly set in the "real" world that we live in, except there people can bring anything into life by simply believing it. The reptilian overlords, the flat earth, you name it. This is both a very interesting hook for a thriller and a reasonably timely take on the modern society, what with "fake news" being the hot new words of the decade. It's a snappy, snide story and so far it's been a joy to read. Let's hope that trend continues.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Clint

    2.5 stars Its distinctive art is the most impressive part of this book and it’s composed with obvious talent, though ironically it’s not very original in how it so closely mimics Bill Sienkiewicz’s iconic style. Regardless, many pages are still stunning as pieces of art by themselves, but they’re also sometimes ill-suited for clearly depicting the story. Tynion’s writing in this is much more shaky to me. There’s a ton of overlap with Something Is Killing The Children, the other celebrated creator- 2.5 stars Its distinctive art is the most impressive part of this book and it’s composed with obvious talent, though ironically it’s not very original in how it so closely mimics Bill Sienkiewicz’s iconic style. Regardless, many pages are still stunning as pieces of art by themselves, but they’re also sometimes ill-suited for clearly depicting the story. Tynion’s writing in this is much more shaky to me. There’s a ton of overlap with Something Is Killing The Children, the other celebrated creator-owned ongoing horror series he currently writes: a dude from Wisconsin is brought into a secret organization fighting against monstrous things brought to life through the power of belief. TDoT swaps SIKTC’s monsters in the woods for contemporary headline happenings, and action movie bombast for spy thriller paranoia, but the two series still cover bizarrely similar premises. In these first five issues Tynion involves what feels like every popular modern conspiracy theory (JFK, reptilians, QAnon, Sandy Hook false flaggers, satanic panic, Clinton murders, Epstein, 9/11, Flat Earthers, Obama birthers, fake moon landing) but only at a very surface level that offers nothing new if you also already have a superficial familiarity with them. More frustratingly, he writes in a ton of monologue that reads like his own self-righteous editorializing on the topic rather than the characters’ voices, and that might be okay if he had any interesting insight into these theories or the people who believe them, but instead it’s all laymen psychoanalysis like “conspiracy theories give people a false sense of superiority and control in their life that they don’t feel otherwise” plus a little bit of petty political snobbishness. And I don’t disagree with much of what he’s saying, but it’s just all stuff that was already in my own head before I opened this book, and it seems to think it’s much smarter or more daring than it is. More positively, there’s a late reveal that suggests the plot might go in a direction that’s more interesting to me. There’s also a few neat touches I loved, like several of the antagonists’ striking character designs, or the agency’s archive essentially being a giant red yarn conspiracy board stretched out to the size of a large library.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Morrell

    What if human consciousness en masse can warp the truth and cause conspiracy theories to come to life? That's when The Department of Truth steps in. (Read in individual issues on readcomiconline.to) What if human consciousness en masse can warp the truth and cause conspiracy theories to come to life? That's when The Department of Truth steps in. (Read in individual issues on readcomiconline.to)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    4.5/5 stars What if every conspiracy theory ever created could be true if enough people believed in them? Who would maintain order and a record of what’s actually real? This is the word Cole Turner finds himself in at the beginning of The Department of Truth—a world where the moon landing is fake, and the earth is flat solely because people believe it to be true. Lee Harvey Oswald leads the Department of Truth, a government-run organization dedicated to ensuring these conspiracy theories don’t ga 4.5/5 stars What if every conspiracy theory ever created could be true if enough people believed in them? Who would maintain order and a record of what’s actually real? This is the word Cole Turner finds himself in at the beginning of The Department of Truth—a world where the moon landing is fake, and the earth is flat solely because people believe it to be true. Lee Harvey Oswald leads the Department of Truth, a government-run organization dedicated to ensuring these conspiracy theories don’t gain enough believers to become truth. Oswald and the department quickly recruit Cole in their quest to preserve reality as we know it, but there is a greater threat lurking in the shadows. A rival organization that wants to see these conspiracies take root? Why? Which side is right? Which side is wrong? Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? Does the truth even matter? These are the questions at the heart of volume one of The Department of Truth. The Department of Truth feels a lot like The X-Files in several ways. There’s the obvious one—it’s a story about a government organization that investigates fringe theories. But the similarities run deeper. Each issue of The Department of Truth has a case-of-the-week (or month, I guess, since the comic is published monthly). These procedural elements are intermingled with an overarching plot that sees Cole, Ruby (his partner), and Oswald uncovering evidence suggesting they’re fighting the daddy of all conspiracies—orchestrated by a mysterious group, Black Hat, who seem to keep cropping up behind every corner. The similarities run even deeper, though—like The X-Files’ Fox Mulder, Cole has his own traumatic childhood connection to the Department of Truth. He was a victim of the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, a conspiracy that acts as a kind of precursor to a certain modern-day conspiracy that shall not be named but is central to the comic’s overarching mystery. I point out these similarities not as criticism, but as praise. Like a good TV show that merges procedural and serialized elements, The Department of Truth moves at an excellent pace. Exploring a different conspiracy theory in every issue gives the series a sense of variety while the overarching plotline gives it a sense of unity. It’s a structure that works very well, ensuring that no chapter feels disposable while also ensuring the series doesn’t settle into a creative rut. The conspiracies are varied—there are false flag operations, assassination theories, even reptilians—but they’re all unified by this organization that focuses on eradicating them. It’s an idea that feels like it could go anywhere, and Tynion takes it to some captivating places. The work that Tynion does to establish the world of this comic, and Cole’s backstory, is remarkable. He doesn’t overload his readers with too much information all at once. Instead, like a good conspiracy, everything is slowly unraveled, with small breadcrumbs leading to bigger ones until an entire tapestry has been revealed. This isn’t a story about conspiracies; rather, it’s a story about the power of stories. What stories get to be true and who gets to decide that? Tynion doesn’t answer any of these questions yet, but the care with which he explores these ideas is well worth the price of admission. The artwork of any comic can be a subjective, and sometimes polarizing, experience. Some people love abstract artwork while others prefer artwork that’s more utilitarian in purpose. I fall somewhere between these two sides, though I tend to lean toward the latter. I say all of this as a preface for how much I love Simmonds' artwork in The Department of Truth, even though it is more abstract than I normally prefer. Here, that abstractness helps expand the atmosphere Tynion’s created with his writing. Everything is a little smokey, almost as if it’s in a state of flux, ready to change at any moment—much like the comic’s depiction of truth itself. However, the artwork is never so abstract that it detracts from the story being told, or makes it difficult to follow the plot. Instead, Simmonds' artwork feels suitably stylistic. In moments of fantasy, his imagination shines brightly as he gives creative designs to things like the Reptilians or a demonic creature with a pentagram etched into its face. But mostly, everything is very shadowy and noir-like. It’s a style that worked well for me, but won’t be for everyone. And that’s honestly the case for The Department of Truth as a whole. It’s not going to be for everyone, but the people it is for are going to adore it. Each issue is a mixture of fun, case-of-the-week stories that explore a new conspiracy and of serialized plotlines that get furthered every issue. The world of The Department of Truth is one that feels rife with possibilities—there are so many directions Tynion and Simmonds could take this story, all of which feel equally exciting. It feels like a story that could go for years and years while also feeling like one with an endpoint in mind. It’s clear that there’s a mystery Tynion and Simmonds are unraveling here, and it’s introduced so brilliantly in this first volume that it’s easy to become enthralled by it. All in all, it’s a comic unlike most comics I’ve read lately. It feels like a TV show in the best possible way and I am captivated. I can’t wait to see where things go from here. If you’re into conspiracies, mysteries, or just really good, unique comics, The Department of Truth is a must-read.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rory Wilding

    Although I think no one should believe deeply in conspiracy theories, they are continuously fascinating through the fictional tales that sprung from films and movies, not matter how fun or outlandish they are. At the very least, when you think of The X-Files or The Matrix, they can make you think, but first and foremost, they should entertain. Going into The Department of Truth, which makes the Image debut of writer James Tynion IV, he is about applying the horror twist to the whole idea of cons Although I think no one should believe deeply in conspiracy theories, they are continuously fascinating through the fictional tales that sprung from films and movies, not matter how fun or outlandish they are. At the very least, when you think of The X-Files or The Matrix, they can make you think, but first and foremost, they should entertain. Going into The Department of Truth, which makes the Image debut of writer James Tynion IV, he is about applying the horror twist to the whole idea of conspiracy theories. Having studied these theories as a teacher who has done field-work for the FBI, Cole Turner’s attendance to a Flat Earth conference takes an unexpected and unexplainable turn revealing a manifested truth out of this theory. This discovery leads Cole to being inducted in the Department of Truth, a top-secret branch of the American government that has been tasked for generations with making sure dangerous don’t gain a foothold in the real world. In light of the madness that has spawned out of the last decade, when it comes to conspiracies, such as the aforementioned Flat Earth theory and the false claim that former president Barack Obama was born in Kenya. Given his writings are predominately towards horror, Tynion does somewhat apply a modern twist to the X-Files formula, where there are some scary moments and oddball characters, but never quite reaches the potential it promises. The biggest issue comes down to how Tynion tells the story, where you don’t seem to spend enough time where Cole and his unusual colleagues from the department, such as Director Lee Harvey Oswald (yes, he’s still around, apparently) and the doctor who wears a tin-foil hat to avoid the media hacking into his thoughts. Cole even partners up with the more professional Ruby and we don’t see enough of their dynamic, let alone his relationship with his husband, which is slowly being a distancing one. Much of the storytelling relies on the cases that Cole participates in, such as a school shooting that is explored in the third issue. Given the tragic backstory behind this tale, Tynion’s writing can just be plodding with the heavy emphasis on word balloons and captions, despite the impressive off-set lettering by Aditya Bidikar. So much of this volume plods along by delving into the extensive history of theories, past and present, there’s never much action from the characters until the very end. One other contribution to the book’s problems, is the highly stylized art by Martin Simmonds, whose work is reminiscent of the style of Bill Sienkiewicz. There's nothing wrong about the Sienkiewicz type of illustrating, but the abstract nature can be too much for some readers, who would like a more visually coherent read. That said, Simmonds’ art is impressively surreal as it plays with space and time, in terms of unconventional paneling and collage work. There is imagery that will stay with you, from the monstrous figures lurking in the darkness, to the stunning double pages. On a surface level, The Department of Truth Vol. 1 is a technical accomplishment through art and lettering, but the storytelling just left me cold on a dramatic level, despite having a strong premise that is slowly making its way onto television.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jake Nap

    Really loved this one. Didn’t really know what I expected going into this, the only things I vaguely knew were that it had gorgeous art and a conspiracy rich premise. I do like James Tynion, his Hellblazer maxi series was one of the first books I ever fell in love with early in my comics career. I was also a fan of his trilogy of books Memetic, Cognetic and Eugenic, a series of unconnected mini series with artist Eryk Donavan (also from Hellblazer). Martin Simmonds however I have never heard of Really loved this one. Didn’t really know what I expected going into this, the only things I vaguely knew were that it had gorgeous art and a conspiracy rich premise. I do like James Tynion, his Hellblazer maxi series was one of the first books I ever fell in love with early in my comics career. I was also a fan of his trilogy of books Memetic, Cognetic and Eugenic, a series of unconnected mini series with artist Eryk Donavan (also from Hellblazer). Martin Simmonds however I have never heard of but seeing the art for this book on the internet made me really excited to get my hands on this book. I was not disappointed. Department of Truth offers an interesting series that seems to take inspiration from late 80’s/90’s Vertigo in a way, especially books like The Invisibles and it structurally reminds me a lot of Hellboy and Planetary. Each issue tackles its own conspiracy in a sort of episodic sense. There is a through line throughout the stories but this first volume is written in a way where you can just hop on any issue. Don’t let the episodic nature take away from the concept however, it isn’t only an episodic comic. It also tackles the power of the idea and how no matter how ridiculous an idea, if enough people believe it, it will grow in strength. The book offers up the concept that the truth is malleable, if enough people believe in something it makes it true. Themes of media manipulation and conspiracy run more rampant than ever in a post Trump America and the book does not shy away from addressing this. I have to give a ton of praise for Martin Simmonds and Aditya Bidikar who nail the visuals and the panel to panel storytelling. This Sienkiewicz/McKean/early Fegrado style is awesome, but sometimes the style lends to more abstract storytelling. Simmonds does a great job making it accessible while also experimenting with design. The panel borders often look like they’re outlined in tape giving this effect that they’re pasted on to a background. I really like the feel that this gives as it allows for Simmonds to place images under the panels. This is most notable in issue 2 where the creature that haunts the main character is seen there floating between panels. Aditya Bidikar is probably the most exciting letterer working in comics today. The different approach they bring to design and story flow is so unique. The balloons in this series have a strange shape to begin with, but the outline Bidikar adds bleeds directly into the art work outside the balloon giving it a real off kilter feel that adds to the mixed media look from Simmonds. Not to mention both of the things I mentioned add superbly to the tone of the overall book. Department of Truth is a triumph for Tynion, Simmonds and Bidikar. It capitalizes on the medium in clever ways and feels like the next logical step in a line of horror books before it. Can’t wait to see where it goes and I’m even more excited to check out some of the later guest issues, I’d love to see more artists take a crack at stories like this. 9/10

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    This review can also be found on my blog: https://graphicnovelty2.com/2021/04/0... The world is flat. The moon landing was faked. Reptilian Illuminati rule the world. Most people don’t believe these wild conspiracy theories, but what if they became real because collective belief could turn these theories into reality? That’s where the secret Department of Truth steps in. Cole Turner, an FBI teacher who teaches about conspiracy theories at Quantico, is attending a Flat Earth conference when he is c This review can also be found on my blog: https://graphicnovelty2.com/2021/04/0... The world is flat. The moon landing was faked. Reptilian Illuminati rule the world. Most people don’t believe these wild conspiracy theories, but what if they became real because collective belief could turn these theories into reality? That’s where the secret Department of Truth steps in. Cole Turner, an FBI teacher who teaches about conspiracy theories at Quantico, is attending a Flat Earth conference when he is convinced to get into a plane that takes him and flat earth believers to the end of the world where he sees that, indeed, the world is flat. Astounded by this, he disembarks with the others just to have everyone gunned down but him. He is taken to a bunker where he is interrogated about what he saw. There is some insightful conversation about why wild theories take hold, often it is about a loss of control in someone’s life, and the wish for them to come up with explanations that make them feel important and justified. The director (whose name will be familiar to you) reveals he and the other agents are from the Department of Truth and recruit him to to their organization. But the secrets go deeper than keeping fringe theories from becoming fact. Since outcomes can branch off into many different scenarios, agents need to make split-second decisions that don’t always tidy up neatly. A heartbreaking example is shown of a single mother whose child was killed in a school shooting, who begins to doubt her reality when she goes down the rabbit hole of internet rantings. She begins to believe her son was part of a “crisis-actors” set up, and he is being held hostage by shadowy officials. More theories are brought up- what if modern day presidents have been puppets with their lives manipulated- including the Bushes, Clinton, Obama and Trump, all for some grand scheme? The artwork is sketchy, abstract, and frankly, messy at times. While it is apropos that this shadowy tale also has shadowy panels, I found it overkill at times. There were some full-page spreads that had overlays of other graphics in a collage format that gave it an interesting stylistic look. The colors are muted, except for some splashes of red and the mysterious woman in a crimson dress who always wears sunglasses. The graphic novel ends on a cliffhanger as Turner is confronted with yet another secret society, and the question begs, who is telling the truth? Who decides which secrets need to never see the light, and which should be revealed? Why was Turner recruited and who is the woman with the strange eyes that follows him? This was a promising, yet convoluted story with an X-Files vibe, that could go either way in the next volume. (Actual review 3.5/5)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    So here's the thing about people who believe in conspiracy theories like the moon landing being faked, Jewish space lasers causing forest fires, a cabal of lizard people running the world and the earth itself being flat. Belief in all that brings them comfort, the knowledge that all the crazy bullshit in the world is actually all part of someone's grand plan. Plus they get to feel like they're so much smarter than the rest of us because they've "figured it out". It doesn't make it any easier for t So here's the thing about people who believe in conspiracy theories like the moon landing being faked, Jewish space lasers causing forest fires, a cabal of lizard people running the world and the earth itself being flat. Belief in all that brings them comfort, the knowledge that all the crazy bullshit in the world is actually all part of someone's grand plan. Plus they get to feel like they're so much smarter than the rest of us because they've "figured it out". It doesn't make it any easier for the rest of us trying to argue with them in good faith, but maybe that will never change. I love the concept of this book, that belief in conspiracy theories actually manifests them in reality and it's up to the Department of Truth to stamp them out. The metaphor is obvious in our post-truth world. You can now believe whatever you like, facts can be replaced by "alternate facts", dismiss anything you dislike as "fake news"... surround yourself with those who reject reality so you can form your own. I simultaneously loved and loathed this book. I found it a really interesting take on the kinds of people who believe the more destructive forms of conspiracy theories and why without seeming too harsh, but at the same time I didn't want to understand them, I didn't want to think of them as being "right" whatever that means... so I appreciate any book that can make me wonder about my own thoughts, question my own beliefs in science and reason. As a footnote, I really love how often James Tynion includes an LGBT character as the protagonist because he does so in a really natural way, it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the plot, but the main male character has a love interest, so why not make him another male? It's just a nice touch that doesn't seem to happen all that often.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    If I thought more critically about this comic, I probably would rate it lower, but I'm going strictly with the emotional impact it had on me while reading and now a day later. It eases you into the idea that belief in a conspiracy can make that conspiracy real with the flat Earther people, which leads to the introduction of the Department of Truth. That's all fun and interesting, and then the muddy, blurry art is a little annoying. But then comes the issue about crisis actors and "faked" school s If I thought more critically about this comic, I probably would rate it lower, but I'm going strictly with the emotional impact it had on me while reading and now a day later. It eases you into the idea that belief in a conspiracy can make that conspiracy real with the flat Earther people, which leads to the introduction of the Department of Truth. That's all fun and interesting, and then the muddy, blurry art is a little annoying. But then comes the issue about crisis actors and "faked" school shootings, and I was both dragged into the story, unable to put the book down, and disgusted by what I was reading. This book terrified me, knowing that there are people in the world that believe these conspiracy theories as truths. This is not an easy read. It goes into sex trafficking, school shootings, and has a reoccurring theme regarding the Satanic Panic of the 1980s. I think I was so wrapped up in being disturbed by the whole that that I can't critically look at the piece as a whole. It creeped me out, and I couldn't put it down. The art matches the ton, but it also would give me a headache if I looked at any given panel for very long. The characters are ciphers at best with very little character development beyond Cole, the audience stand-in, and even that isn't much other than he seems to be easily manipulated. Still the imagery and the mystery set up will linger in my brain for some time. If there were more of this story already available I would read it, though by the time volume 2 comes out, I don't know if I'll be emotional capable of picking it up. I'm also on the fence on whether this is too controversial to pick as a book club pick at my library.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Wayong

    The Dept. of Truth starts out promising, with agents (“Men in Black”? “Special Ops”? Mulder /Scully FBI dept?) questioning & punishing the main character of the story. Initially, the novel was intriguing & felt fresh compared to other related books, especially compared others in the same sub-genera. The artwork is reminiscent of late ‘80s to Mid ‘90s a la Seinkowitz & David Mack, but while their art sings & are fibrant, TDoT’s art gets muddier. The men in the book are hard to discern at times. Plu The Dept. of Truth starts out promising, with agents (“Men in Black”? “Special Ops”? Mulder /Scully FBI dept?) questioning & punishing the main character of the story. Initially, the novel was intriguing & felt fresh compared to other related books, especially compared others in the same sub-genera. The artwork is reminiscent of late ‘80s to Mid ‘90s a la Seinkowitz & David Mack, but while their art sings & are fibrant, TDoT’s art gets muddier. The men in the book are hard to discern at times. Plus , the book goes downhill for the last 3rd of the G.n. The plot goes down the rabbit-hole & is confusing to the reader. I’m not certain what exactly occurred at the end, nor can I figure out how they can continue the plot for second collected editions, considering the end. Such a shame as typically I love Tynian’s writing. As it stands, it looks like a tin-foil hat Q-ANON character who recruits & pedals Pizza-Gate & Flat Earthers. 🥱🥲 And can legitimately think that Tynian is supporting this way of thinking. At best, I rated the book 1.5 out of 5 & rounded up as 2 as the first 3rd book well done. Read Gideon Falls; Y, The Last Man; Umbrella Academy or watch Under the Dome (Stephen King); Castle Rock; watch/read The Leftovers; Dirk Gently (most recent TV adaptation); 12 Monkeys; Men in Black & Brazil instead of reading Dept. of Truth. The prior books & shows/movies do conspiracy theories & speculative fiction correctly.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Adam Stone

    A potentially great series about how belief helps shift the reality around us. The concept is awesome, the art is stunningly stylized, Tynion's dialogue is great. I just don't care about the characters or the plot. I really want to. I hope that the next volume gives some dimensions to the characters, or heightens the plot. Right now, it reads like an average X-Files episode. It's intriguing but not fascinating. There's horror going on but because I'm not invested in the characters, the horror is A potentially great series about how belief helps shift the reality around us. The concept is awesome, the art is stunningly stylized, Tynion's dialogue is great. I just don't care about the characters or the plot. I really want to. I hope that the next volume gives some dimensions to the characters, or heightens the plot. Right now, it reads like an average X-Files episode. It's intriguing but not fascinating. There's horror going on but because I'm not invested in the characters, the horror is unaffecting background noise. There's an awesome sci-fi angle but because the stakes are so high, and the protagonists are so stiff and buried in mystery, it reads more like a dry outline of a cool story than an actually cool story. The art is unique and plays into the mystery angle but it's not used to show the story, so you end up with a lot of narration boxes explaining what's going on, which kind of defeats having this be a graphic novel as opposed to a novel or novella. I'm hoping this is just the book finding its footing. That volume two will give the reader more reason to be invested into the story because the story could be awesome, and both Tynion and Martin Simmonds are certainly talented enough to make this one of the best comics on the shelves.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Adkison

    This book has legs. I’ll definitely be following it. The premise here is simple: if enough people believe something to be true, it is. This, the covert Department of Truth, a clandestine org that keeps the official history official, and against the nefarious Black Hat organization. Unless of course, that’s just another conspiracy theory. Each issue, so far, has a conspiracy they take on (sometimes just tangentially) that ties into the overall narrative. The art fits the overall sketchy tone, with a This book has legs. I’ll definitely be following it. The premise here is simple: if enough people believe something to be true, it is. This, the covert Department of Truth, a clandestine org that keeps the official history official, and against the nefarious Black Hat organization. Unless of course, that’s just another conspiracy theory. Each issue, so far, has a conspiracy they take on (sometimes just tangentially) that ties into the overall narrative. The art fits the overall sketchy tone, with a lot of data corruption and overall distortion and darkness. Sometimes that seems to get in the way of actually showing what is going on, but it works, narratively. The biggest stumbling block this book could hit (and it seems smart enough to avoid it so far) is to deny the biggest conspiracy of them all, that is, capitalism. Thematically it seems to work, with the thesis that the American Dream ended with JFK. I’m interested in the larger narrative, and enjoy the overall suspicion of the American government. Maybe this says something about me, but I enter the series very suspect of something like a Department of Truth, and hopefully the series doesn’t come down on “actually the CIA/FBI/Deep State is good, actually.”

  17. 4 out of 5

    Alana

    There's a lot going on here. The one issue with the mom is a heartbreaker. The art works best as backgrounds or in flashbacks. I almost wish they were two artists on this book because the style does nothing for the main characters or immediacy of the story but fits perfectly for the eeriness and these bigger moments of madness. Or, another example, when we're watching people through cameras, that was a great use of the kind of blurriness I feel looking at everything, because nothing through a cam There's a lot going on here. The one issue with the mom is a heartbreaker. The art works best as backgrounds or in flashbacks. I almost wish they were two artists on this book because the style does nothing for the main characters or immediacy of the story but fits perfectly for the eeriness and these bigger moments of madness. Or, another example, when we're watching people through cameras, that was a great use of the kind of blurriness I feel looking at everything, because nothing through a camera feels perfectly clear. The diner? I felt like everyone was underwater. The writing throws a lot of information at once—not sure about the reviewer who said they didn't understand what was going on because we are not told; the comic is bordering on infodumpy at times, but in that "hey, hew guy, let's catch you up" way. It's organic enough. New guy missteps a lot. Some characters are cagey with information, some are forthright. Some are both and it's just who they are. There's a mystery to it, but it doesn't feel like anyone is holding back for the sake of plotonium. I definitely enjoyed it. Interested to see where it goes next. Hope the author has it well-plotted. I can see this one wearing out its welcome.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Robert Lee

    Like a lie that is repeated often enough, people will believe it, The Department of Truth postulates that the more people that believe a conspiracy theory, it becomes real. In the age of Q'Anon, James Tynion weaves just such a disturbing idea. This first volume covers the first 5 issues of the ongoing series and it lays the groundwork for the reason the Department of Truth exists. Caught up in it is new recruit, Cole Turner, who has studied conspiracy theories all his life. And he discovers that Like a lie that is repeated often enough, people will believe it, The Department of Truth postulates that the more people that believe a conspiracy theory, it becomes real. In the age of Q'Anon, James Tynion weaves just such a disturbing idea. This first volume covers the first 5 issues of the ongoing series and it lays the groundwork for the reason the Department of Truth exists. Caught up in it is new recruit, Cole Turner, who has studied conspiracy theories all his life. And he discovers that all conspiracies are true once enough people believe it. And it is the Department's job to stop that from happening before it does. These early issues are very intriguing and in many ways unsettling. The art by Martin Simmonds takes some getting used to. And then it occurred to me that it is heavily influenced by late 80s Bill Sienkiewicz. The layout may be hard to follow as some of the dialog is meant to flow across a splash spread, but it isn't always obvious. So that does take some getting used to. But overall it is very good foundation for more to come.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Justin Nelson

    Ooooo...this was good. A very solid start to an intriguing series! Tynion plays with paranoia and truth very effectively here. Our current world populated with conspiracy theories and crackpot pontificators takes center stage here as we see two sides of "truth" pitted against each other. This is one of those tales in which no one appears to be "good" or a hero, but the gray zone of motivations feeds the paranoia theme and works so well. No conspiracy theory is safe here, but it doesn't feel over Ooooo...this was good. A very solid start to an intriguing series! Tynion plays with paranoia and truth very effectively here. Our current world populated with conspiracy theories and crackpot pontificators takes center stage here as we see two sides of "truth" pitted against each other. This is one of those tales in which no one appears to be "good" or a hero, but the gray zone of motivations feeds the paranoia theme and works so well. No conspiracy theory is safe here, but it doesn't feel overstuffed at all. Simmonds' art is a great fit here. Very moody and menacing. Dark colors and sketchy, unfinished feels to the layouts up the creep factor. In fact, my only two criticisms would be that the horror elements of the plot could be played up more to create a greater sense of unease. Also, you can tell this is a first arc, so the ending leaves you wanting more. But, in a good way, as in I cannot wait to get Volume 2 or perhaps even add this as a monthly pull to my floppy copy comic reading. If you like dark, cerebral, paranoiac, X-Filesesque creepy thriller, check this out.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sean Kottke

    Here's my conspiracy theory behind this book: Philip K. Dick is still alive, exorcised of all his demons, clean & sober, and in top form, observing the madness of the world and makin' comics. The themes of the fragility of reality and the power of humanity to create fictions (a central theme of Sapiens: A Graphic History: The Birth of Humankind) play out against contemporary conspiracy theories and an epic struggle over truth. Trippy, compelling stuff. Here's my conspiracy theory behind this book: Philip K. Dick is still alive, exorcised of all his demons, clean & sober, and in top form, observing the madness of the world and makin' comics. The themes of the fragility of reality and the power of humanity to create fictions (a central theme of Sapiens: A Graphic History: The Birth of Humankind) play out against contemporary conspiracy theories and an epic struggle over truth. Trippy, compelling stuff.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Zenik

    Welcome to the wild world of Epstein Brain in comic form. In a world where any conspiracy theory can (and might) be real, how do you you stop the Flat Earthers, Reptiliods, QAnon baby-eaters, crisis-actor truthers, and countless other sweat-drenched mouth-breathing hog-folk nightmares from taking over the world? You need the Department of Truth. A story that shrieks down a nightmare road of horrifyingly fantastical art and ideas that turn your thoughts to blood. It's Three Days of the Condor meet Welcome to the wild world of Epstein Brain in comic form. In a world where any conspiracy theory can (and might) be real, how do you you stop the Flat Earthers, Reptiliods, QAnon baby-eaters, crisis-actor truthers, and countless other sweat-drenched mouth-breathing hog-folk nightmares from taking over the world? You need the Department of Truth. A story that shrieks down a nightmare road of horrifyingly fantastical art and ideas that turn your thoughts to blood. It's Three Days of the Condor meets the X-Files, blended with a powerful dose of red-yarn-and-thumbtack paranoia mixed in a tin-foil-hat bowl and fired into your head from a book depository.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mike Jorgensen

    I still don't know where I land on this book. I read it quickly and was enjoying myself, but it is difficult to follow. The difficulty is by design. The art lends itself to the message and the dystopian vibe. The rules of the universe (sci/fi or fantasy) are unclear to me even after reading the first volume, so I'm hoping that is something that gets cleared up. The "big twist" in this one isn't all that surprising. I get a little nervous when Tynion is toying with actual conspiracy theories, ridi I still don't know where I land on this book. I read it quickly and was enjoying myself, but it is difficult to follow. The difficulty is by design. The art lends itself to the message and the dystopian vibe. The rules of the universe (sci/fi or fantasy) are unclear to me even after reading the first volume, so I'm hoping that is something that gets cleared up. The "big twist" in this one isn't all that surprising. I get a little nervous when Tynion is toying with actual conspiracy theories, ridicule them, then call into question the organization that ridicules them. But I suppose art takes risks and so far Tynion has proven himself to be a gifted artist.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Steve Long

    I wanted to read this because I enjoy the hell out of Tynion’swork on Batman. Well, this is a far cry from his Batman stuff but it cements the fact that Tynion is a great writer. This one started out strong and then got, I dunno, weird I guess. It became kind of hard to follow for a while. However, the last issue got the story back on track for me and left the story on a bit of a cliffhanger. Will I read more of this book? Absolutely. Will I continue reading this story right away? Not likely. I’ I wanted to read this because I enjoy the hell out of Tynion’swork on Batman. Well, this is a far cry from his Batman stuff but it cements the fact that Tynion is a great writer. This one started out strong and then got, I dunno, weird I guess. It became kind of hard to follow for a while. However, the last issue got the story back on track for me and left the story on a bit of a cliffhanger. Will I read more of this book? Absolutely. Will I continue reading this story right away? Not likely. I’ve got a long list of other stuff to read so this one is going to go on the back burner so I can give my brain a little rest.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    The country is in a weird place with conspiracy theories. This book is somewhat thought-provoking but the premise is not clear from the first volume - is it going to land that facts are different from beliefs? Many of the theories are offensive or are doing serious harm to our society and democracy. Is it irresponsible to further promote and profit from conspiracy theories? As the main character is swayed from either side, it's hard to commit to a book that does not commit to a stance. I did not The country is in a weird place with conspiracy theories. This book is somewhat thought-provoking but the premise is not clear from the first volume - is it going to land that facts are different from beliefs? Many of the theories are offensive or are doing serious harm to our society and democracy. Is it irresponsible to further promote and profit from conspiracy theories? As the main character is swayed from either side, it's hard to commit to a book that does not commit to a stance. I did not care for the art style and the paneling threw me a number of times whether you read across both pages or left then right. I won't be picking up volume 2.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Paul Allard

    Wordy and frankly quite boring conspiracy theory comic series. This review is of issues 1 to 4 only. This horror comic series deals with a Department of Truth which deals with conspiracy theories in the USA, revolving around Cole who wants to find out the truth about Satanic stories from his youth. It's very "wordy" and the artwork is unclear, mainly black, white and red (to create the horror effect) and the whole effect is quite boring. Sorry, creators but not for me. I received a copy of this i Wordy and frankly quite boring conspiracy theory comic series. This review is of issues 1 to 4 only. This horror comic series deals with a Department of Truth which deals with conspiracy theories in the USA, revolving around Cole who wants to find out the truth about Satanic stories from his youth. It's very "wordy" and the artwork is unclear, mainly black, white and red (to create the horror effect) and the whole effect is quite boring. Sorry, creators but not for me. I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    I’m definitely intrigued by this book and plan to get the next volume but there are so many questions left to answer. This volume introduces us to Cole Turner as he follows the idea that if enough people believe in a story, it could turn out to be true. That’s a fascinating concept especially considering what happens when things aren’t currently true but ultimately change what is true. Think of children believing in Santa Claus but make it darker and go down the conspiracy theory rabbit holes. L I’m definitely intrigued by this book and plan to get the next volume but there are so many questions left to answer. This volume introduces us to Cole Turner as he follows the idea that if enough people believe in a story, it could turn out to be true. That’s a fascinating concept especially considering what happens when things aren’t currently true but ultimately change what is true. Think of children believing in Santa Claus but make it darker and go down the conspiracy theory rabbit holes. Lots of twists and turns and the art, which is quite unique, draws you in.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Judah Radd

    BRILLIANT The premise of this book is wild. It directly incorporates qanon, flat earth, birthers, alex jones, and spins a wild metaphysical story about dark forces spreading lies, and how sometimes when enough people believe lies, they start to become true. But then, there’s this curveball where some of the “truths” that currently exist started off as lies, and it’s like... so smart, because this book is about our world It’s one of the craziest and most ambitious stories I’ve read in a while

  28. 5 out of 5

    jedioffsidetrap

    Cool. The Department of Truth goes out & eliminates the threats caused by conspiracy theories when they turn real. Which they do when enough people believe in them, alternating history and/or reality. Riffing on the Buddhist concept of the “tulpa”, “a thoughtform, a belief given a body.” Whoa... Really love the art: watercolor & fantastical, moody. This is definitely the moment to explore this idea, in post-truth, Trumpian America. “The more people believe in something, the more true that thing Cool. The Department of Truth goes out & eliminates the threats caused by conspiracy theories when they turn real. Which they do when enough people believe in them, alternating history and/or reality. Riffing on the Buddhist concept of the “tulpa”, “a thoughtform, a belief given a body.” Whoa... Really love the art: watercolor & fantastical, moody. This is definitely the moment to explore this idea, in post-truth, Trumpian America. “The more people believe in something, the more true that thing becomes. The more reality tips in favor of that belief.” Yes: alternate facts, the hoaxes, witch hunts, the stolen election. The fungible reality we’ve lived through/are living through isn’t so different from this fiction. The main protagonist is Cole Turner, an FBI agent who specializes in conspiracy theories. He’s exposed to the big truth when he’s taken from a Flat Earth Society conference and sees the actual edge of the world, manifested by the amount of belief in it & propagated by the shadowy group, Black Hat. So the DoT sends an agent, Ruby, there too & machine guns down the cabal. To extinguish that reality & maintain the truth of a spherical earth: “we’ve spent the last century making sure that conspiracy theories REMAIN conspiracy theories.”

  29. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Wow! This was incredible! The smudgy art style and moody colouring perfectly capture the darkness and mind-twisting nature of the story. And the story? Oh boy, it is a delight for old school X-Files fans and conspiracy theorists of all stripes. It is hard to believe this is the same author who brought us the adorable and sweet "The Backstagers." This series is violent, slightly horrific, and kind of depressing. I was completely enthralled and I can't wait for more! Wow! This was incredible! The smudgy art style and moody colouring perfectly capture the darkness and mind-twisting nature of the story. And the story? Oh boy, it is a delight for old school X-Files fans and conspiracy theorists of all stripes. It is hard to believe this is the same author who brought us the adorable and sweet "The Backstagers." This series is violent, slightly horrific, and kind of depressing. I was completely enthralled and I can't wait for more!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Randy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Absolutely terrific book. The art is Sienkiewicz inspired & absolutely gorgeous. The story is fascinating with conspiracy theories, & secret agencies. I really liked that the big conspiracy was the Satanic Panic of the 80's, being a child of the 80's myself that was a huge theory everyone spouted off on. The book also left lasting questions that I am curious to see answered in Volume 2. I also felt this small connection to the game by Remedy, Control.. Absolutely terrific book. The art is Sienkiewicz inspired & absolutely gorgeous. The story is fascinating with conspiracy theories, & secret agencies. I really liked that the big conspiracy was the Satanic Panic of the 80's, being a child of the 80's myself that was a huge theory everyone spouted off on. The book also left lasting questions that I am curious to see answered in Volume 2. I also felt this small connection to the game by Remedy, Control..

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