From writer, James Tynion IV. Artist, Martin Simmonds. Letterer, Aditya Bidikar. Designer, Dylan Todd. Editor, Steve Foxe. Published by Image Comics.
What if thoughts could become reality? Enough people thinking the same way could make any idea come true, and possibly change the course of the world. That’s the idea behind the Department of Truth comic book series, and this collects the first 5 issues.
Cole Turner is our introductory character who is about to discover how the world actually works. Any idea can become real if enough people believe in it. This is clapping for fairies on a worldwide level. Some ideas like myth and legend come and go. Some are the most ridiculous concepts imaginable and any sane person knows it’s all crap, but here comes the new megaphone known as social media. Before, we all knew to ignore the guy ringing the bell with his “the end is near” sandwich board. Now that guy can link up with other like minded people online and share their unified message with any curious mind. Now ideas like vampire pedophile cults gain traction.
The purpose of the Department of Truth is to monitor and mangage those ideas before they gain a grip in reality. Point the eyes in other directions, seed some doubt, make tough decsions. All to keep the world functioning.
Of course there is a larger story here and some bad stuff is going to happen. Bad stuff does happen, but even more and even worse is clearly on the horizon as the series continues.
This comic would be a great read at any time. Intriguing but also disturbing. However, after the last 5-10 maybe more years of all of our lives it is downright terrifying. We all know something is wrong. We all feel manipulated. We all debate the truth. We all debate the true motives. Some of these things have always been done and thought, but they’re so magnified now. Honestly, to an exhausting level. The vast majority of us just want to earn some money, have a place to live with some fun things, have a person to love, and call it a day. Yet we have to spend so much brain power and countless hours checking in with those who are supposed to be in charge and protecting us. The fear has been made real that any moment it could all fall apart.
We know that the idea of public servants who are elected to make our lives better isn’t real. But that hurts. So instead of accepting a simple reality of wealth and bribery and billionaires we have created lies that are easier to deal with. Shadow organizations and cults and satanic panic and reptilian rulers. All of which for some reason, to think that there are evil entities controlling our politicians and our wealthiest 1% is easier to believe than the truth that they don’t give a shit about us.
See, this is how messed up this comic is. This is the start. This is the entrance. Now that your eyes are open to question what you know the next logical step is to question who told you that. It’s the scariest comic on the stands today. Not horror, no EC label here, but the terror of manipulating reality through our own refusal of the truth. We all know someone who posts absolute lies all day long and believes every bit of it. What if that person finds a video, a cassette, a top secret document – something that didn’t exist yesterday but has now been willed into being? It would unravel all society around us.
Every page of this comic feels as if that is all that separates us from complete reality upheaval. I’m in for the run of it for reasons both enjoyable and preparatory.