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HEAVY METAL: 'Chasing The Dragon' #1 is Available Now

 In Chasing the Dragon , New York Times Bestselling writer Denton J. Tipton and acclaimed painter menton3 explore a dark fantasy world ravaged by the rampant abuse of a drug made from the blood of dragons. When two young slaves discover a terrible secret that could change the course of the world, will a meek alchemist’s apprentice and a drug-addled concubine survive long outside their cages? For fans of Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad . CHASING THE DRAGON Writer: Denton J. Tiption  Artist: menton3 Publisher: Heavy Metal Release: Feb. 26, 2021  Order Here

REVIEW: 'The Department of Truth' #5 by James Tynion IV and Martin Simmonds

 WHAT is Black Hat? WHO is the mysterious man pulling its strings? WHY is he in Cole Turner's apartment? The first arc of the smash-hit new series from JAMES TYNION IV (Batman) & MARTIN SIMMONDS (Dying is Easy) comes to a dramatic conclusion, as Cole questions whether or not he's on the right side of the War for the Truth!


THE DEPARTMENT OF TRUTH #5

Writer: James Tynion IV

Artist: Martin Simmonds

Publisher: Image Comics

Release Date: January 27, 2021

Cover Price: $3.99

Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)

James Tynion IV is one of the smartest writers in comics and Marting Simmonds is an immensely talented artist. Together, they've made 'The Department of Truth' one of the darkest most engrossing conspiracy thrillers ever written. Even when things don't work and take an unnecessary ugly turn like it did in issue #3, it's not for lack of trying to produce something special and surprising. This series is nothing if not ambitious in its demented haunted house of mirrors that reveals conspiracy theories come to life. The fifth issue features an epic monologue from the Department of Truth's adversary where more is exposed about what's at stake in this war of truths. 

To offer an argument of "both sides"-ism is Martin Baker, an agent of Black Hat here to make his case as to why beleaguered and tormented Truth agent Cole Turner should consider another perspective. Perhaps the lines between good and evil are blurred or misrepresented altogether. Who really are the good guys and the bad guys? This dialogue-heavy issue delves into some surprising arguments that give credence to the idea that conspiracy theories are driven by entities that are not so clandestine and are obviously benefitting from the irrational frenzy. An already psychologically battered Turner has to contend with these arguments that are at odds with what the Department has fed him. 

As well-written as the issue is, the dialogue-loaded pages would be tiresome were it not for Simmond's nightmarish visuals. The shadowy, distressed strokes of paint, mixed-media, and haunting character designs are unrelenting. The reader is never at peace or comfortable. Simmonds puts you in Turner's shoes, an anxiety-ridden torrent of discomfort that feels disorienting and claustrophobic. It's a visual whirlwind that can be abstract at times but always meant to unnerve you. 

Despite a misfire in the middle of the opening arc of 'The Department of Truth,' this finale pays off with answers (and some more questions) that should satisfy fans until the next arc. Provocative, unsettling, and head-spinning, Tynion and Simmonds create a sort of 'X-Files' on acid that lingers long after you've put it down. 


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