• Dept. H #18

    Dept. H #18
    Released by: Dark Horse Comics
    Released on: September 20th, 2017.
    Written by: Matt Kindt
    Illustrated by: Matt Kindt, Sharlene Kindt
    Purchase From Amazon

    We see a kid, a boy, climb out of a huge pit full of corpses. The ‘camera’ pulls back and we see that there are scores of people surrounding this pit and that surrounding those people is a huge fence with the word QUARANTINE posted on it every other panel or so. These people are sick and the powers that be are using this plague as a reason to wage war with one another. Scientists believe this to be the natural progression of the H-Virus, but it isn’t stopping people from killing each other anyway.

    Back underwater, Lily explains this to the rest of the crew. If Hari found the cure for the virus as they suspect, they have no choice but to try and resurface. The fact that surface control said they’d ‘scuttle’ them if they tried to surface can’t stop them from trying, there’s just too much riding on this. While this is going on, Aaron, out there alone in his dive suit, radios Mia and explains to him that while he and her father disagreed on many things, he didn’t kill him. He admits what he did wrong, and then explains to her how he found God.

    We flashback to Hari’s last days, how Aaron tried to save him, they have a heady conversation about creationism and evolution – Aaron’s point being that something can’t come from nothing, an argument that Hari can’t overcome. Hari admits he wants Aaron to be right, to believe that there’s something out there for the spirit once the body is done, but he finds the idea of heaven and living forever even more frightening. After their conversation the station floods.

    We cut back to Aaron, he’s found a way to boost his suit and is determined to get Hari’s cure to the surface. He has a better chance of doing this alone than the group does… and then his radio cuts out. As it turns out, that’s the least of their problems.

    A lot of the foreshadowing from the last few issues pays off in this latest chapter. It’s tough to go into detail about how and why without spoiling it, but those who have been paying attention to the series will already know that Kindt’s story has been working in the presence of various creatures for a while now. Here we find out why, how it affects the characters and, quite possibly, the entire world. This issue ends on a massive cliffhanger with literally the fate of the planet hanging in the balance, and it’s seriously gripping stuff. At the same time, the backstory for Aaron, his discussions with Hari, these shed welcome light on both characters and the book is all the better for it. The more we get to know these people the more interesting they become and as this happens, the events that happen in the present, fleshed out by what has already happened in the past, have a much stronger impact on the reader. It’s great stuff. Again, Matt Kindt’s artwork, beautifully colored by Sharlene Kindt, is fantastic. His style is unorthodox but no less effective for it, there’s loads of detail and lots of interesting little bits and pieces worked into different panels that make this an absolute treat for the eyes.

    Don’t miss out on Dept. H. This is smart, suspenseful storytelling unlike anything else out there right now.