‘Dept.H #7:’ Comic Book Review

Matt Kindt slows down for Issue #7. Mia, our hero who is trapped in a quickly crumbling underwater research center with a group of scientists - one (or more) of whom killed her father, has decided to stop letting her situation dictate her next step. Trapped in the control room with her father’s closest confidant, Roger, Mia asks why she shouldn’t just leave and let all of them die. Roger focuses on one of their group who we haven’t gotten to know yet. While Roger talks about Aaron, we see him on one of the console cameras. In a smart move, we follow a character that is not Mia.

In all great mysteries to help create the feeling of hope versus fear, information is revealed to the audience that our main character doesn’t know. This is one of those issues, and Kindt structures it for highest dramatic effect, developing an as-yet-unexplored character and putting him through the ringer in one issue. I think of all the issues thus far, it’s my favorite structurally - simple, clean, and effective. It presents an ethical and moral dilemma, one that may be expounded upon later in the series.

By slowing down, this issue also allows Sharlene Kindt to help tell the story through colors. As Mia questions Roger directly, she slowly illuminates the room around them. It’s a subtle, but brilliant, touch: illumination as a metaphor for finding information. There are clues all over the place in this book. It’s like watching a film shot by Vittorio Storaro. The light tells a story. That’s how this story needs to be approached. Everything is a clue.

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