Comic Review: Dept. H Volume 3: Decompressed HC (Dark Horse)

Dark Horse’ title Dept. H, issues 13-18 are collected in Volume 3: Decompressed. Plunging into the deep end, as it were, is this trade collection this worth its salt? Let’s […]

Dark Horse’ title Dept. H, issues 13-18 are collected in Volume 3: Decompressed.

Plunging into the deep end, as it were, is this trade collection this worth its salt? Let’s see!

For first time readers (like me), let’s set the scene. It’s largely an underwater story, written and drawn by Matt Kindt, with color by Sharlene Kindt. Mia, the main character, is looking for her father’s killer. Plus, her mother is dead. She’s in the middle of an undersea exploration that is putting her submarine (submersible exploration vehicle) at risk. Air is running out, and there are creepy creatures in the deep ocean.

That’s probably enough to familiarize you with the surroundings. What it doesn’t do is highlight the circuitous route that Kindt takes in unraveling the details, points of interest, points of view, and its many timelines changing and intermingling.

If you like mysteries that slowly, slowly reveal themselves, while you gather clues, dismiss theories, and discount false leads, this volume could be a lucky find for you! It’s an uncommonly complex and convoluted tale of love, loss, death, and betrayal.

The visuals are roughly drawn, frankly. Matt is probably illustrating Dept. H by hand with a brush, painting in a simple, non-realistic style. While his style is eccentric and “indie”, it might not appeal to everyone, so go online and check out a page or two before you buy. Likewise, the coloring is likely watercolor, with its usual characteristics.
If you like the art, take the plunge, and submerge yourself in an engrossing tale!

Dark Horse. Dept. H Trade Volume 3: Decompressed. $19.99 for 172 pages of content including story and bonus pages. Rated Teen

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!