Under Pressure: Dept. H #1 Delivers Tension and Mystery

DeptHCoverI love underwater stories.  I’ve been fascinated by SCUBA diving ever since I was a kid, finally realizing my dream twenty years ago (aside: I just realized it was twenty years ago holy crap I’m old).  Even before I was a diver, I loved reading and watching stories about the world below.  I’m of the opinion that even a horrible movie can be partially redeemable if there’s diving or underwater sequences.  Case in point: I will unironically watch Jaws 3.  And that’s a bad movie.

So when Dark Horse announced Dept. H, on sale tomorrow, by Matt and Sharlene Kindt, I knew I’d be reading it.  An underwater thriller?  Written by a great writer?  I’d read it even if it was by some horrid writer, but with Matt at the helm, consider it a Done Deal.  Matt provides the words and the art, and his wife Sharlene provides colors.  Together, the two of the spin a taut mystery miles below the surface of the ocean, and it’s a story that grips you from the start.

Mia is an investigator, hired to uncover the truth about an incident that happened in her father’s underwater research station, Dept. H.  The official story is an accident killed one of the scientists, but Mia suspects the truth — it was murder.  No one has left the station since the killing occurred, meaning when she travels six miles down, she’ll be there with the one who did the deed.

Pressure abounds both via the expanse of water over her head and by the people she’s meant to question in her investigation.  She needs to find out who has sabotaged the research, and she needs to find out without the killer getting her as well.

The art is quite moody for such a tale, and you are immediately submerged with Mia.  Matt and Sharlene present an array of suspects, and I’m sure there will be red herrings as this story progresses, but for now, any one is a suspect, including one of Mia’s old friends and even her brother.

Dept. H is looking like it will be a winner for fans of intrigue, suspense, mystery, and thrillers.  As an underwater junkie, I was here for the environment and will stay for the story.  Matt and Sharlene have a tale that should not be missed.

Dept. H, from Dark Horse comics, is on sale starting Wednesday at your local comic shop or online in print or digital.