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PRE-ORDER: 'Sabrina: Something Wicked' #5 (of 5) by Kelly Thompson, Veronica Fish, and Andy Fish

The thrilling conclusion of Sabrina: Something Wicked is here, and it’s going to put our magical teen heroine face-to-face in a battle against someone unexpected—will everything Sabrina’s learned about magic help her through this ordeal?   Cover by Veronica Fish SABRINA: SOMETHING WICKED #5 (OF 5) Script: Kelly Thompson  Art: Veronica Fish, Andy Fish, Jack Morelli Cover: Veronica Fish Variant Covers: Sweeney Boo, Andy Fish On Sale Date: 2/17 32-page, full-color comic $3.99 U.S. Interior Art by Veronica & Andy Fish      Variant Cover by Sweeney Boo      Variant Cover by Andy Fish

REVIEW: 'The Department of Truth' #3 by James Tynion IV and Martin Simmonds

Mary never knew what "false flag" or "crisis actor" meant, until her son was murdered in a mass shooting, and the threats and accusations began. But as her reality starts to bend around her, it's the job of the Department of Truth to keep these dark conspiracies from coming any cost. JAMES TYNION IV (Batman) & MARTIN SIMMONDS (Dying is Easy) continue their breakout thriller.

Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Martin Simmonds
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: November 25, 2020

Score: ★★☆☆☆ (2/5)

James Tynion has mined a great premise with 'The Department of Truth' based on conspiracy theories and how they manifest because of mass hysteria and the agency responsible for keeping them conspiratorial. The first two issues tackled flat earth conspiracies, the JFK assassination, and the satanic scare of the '80s, and were clever and frightening. Issue three focuses on a woman shattered by the killing of her son during a mass shooting. That horror is only made worse by the harassment from strangers claiming it was a 'false flag' event and her son was a 'crisis actor.' 

Tynion illustrates just how vicious and callous the abuse can become. He even uses an avatar for real media pundits who promote these awful conspiracies. It's a devastating portrayal that is unfortunately all too real. All this 'ripped from the headlines' is vividly reproduced by Tynion and artist Martin Simmonds. The ugly image of screaming pundits and heartless crank calls accurately crush the spirit of the story's protagonist. Unfortunately, Tynion crosses a line when the grieving mom begins to believe the disinformation and conspiracies that her son is still alive somewhere. 

While that twist serves the premise of the series it undermines the devastation that the creative team just presented. They've just shown the remarkable terror caused by despicable people denying this mother's pain and anguish just to have her fall for the conspiracy too? It was a bridge too far to justify this story. It wasn't clever or twisty, it was just another layer of cruelty on top of cruelty.  It was flippantly insensitive and honestly, beneath Tynion's talent to go this route.