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The Department of Truth #1

Comicscore Index
Universal acclaim

Based on 20 critic ratings.

Cole Turner has studied conspiracy theories all his life, but he isn’t prepared for what happens when he discovers that all of them are true, from the JFK assassination to flat Earth theory and reptilian shapeshifters. One organization has been covering them up for generations. What is the deep, dark secret behind the Department of Truth?

Bestselling writer JAMES TYNION IV (Batman, Something is Killing the Children) debuts his first Image ONGOING SERIES alongside breakout artist MARTIN SIMMONDS (Dying is Easy)!

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Length
31 pages
Amazon ASIN

20 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 100

    Monkeys Fighting Robots

    The Department of Truth #1 is a spy thriller like no other. Conspiracies have always been decent plots in comics like The Black Monday Murders, but now the more fantastical side takes hold. It looks like whatever readers believe about intrigue plots is about to be challenged. This series will bring readers in to re-review what’s on this issue just to try and make sense of everything. But no matter how much they try to familiarize themselves, readers might never adjust to it all. The illustrations make everything feel like a dream; even the characters are trying to make sense of everything. Readers are just along for the journey. One they might not mind doing again and again to make sense of everything.

  • 100


    The Department of Truth is a new sci-fi series with horror and thriller sensibilities from James Tynion IV and Martin Simmonds. Given Tynion’s ability to write great horror (Razorblades) and the visual delight Simmonds is capable of (Punk’s Not Dead), Image Comics has a bona fide winner on their hands before anyone even cracks this book open. Plus, given the political nature of the cover, there’s obviously some Manchurian Candidate vibes coming from the title.


    The Department of Truth #1 is as savvy as it is suspenseful, spine-tingling in an unnerving way, and a rare read that feels brand new once you put it down. This book is perfect for the super well-read comics fan, or the sci-fi fanatic X-Files fan.

  • 100

    Horror DNA

    The Department of Truth is made even scarier based on the events in the world today with stuff like Qanon brainwashing everyone’s weird uncles and even some politicians. It hits almost too close to reality at times, but it’s so worth the read. It helps that the final page is such a great cliffhanger that you’ll be begging for more. Do not miss this comic.

  • 100

    DC Comics News

    The Department of Truth #1 is the ideal start to a new series. With this single issue Tynion has me hooked. This is the new X-Files for the 21st Century.

  • 100

    You Don't Read Comics

    The premise for The Department of Truth is so simple in its cleverness. The possibilities for fiction in a world of conspiracy at the heart of reality are endless. Tynion’s idea is very appealing, but he’s going to need an artist with Simmonds’ exact aesthetic to bring it to the page in style as the series progresses. There are few other artists working today who could competently bring a drama like this to the page.

  • 98

    Comics Bookcase

    An absolutely addicting narration with suspense at every turn. The final page will make you gasp. Writer James Tynion IV continues his rise as an original creator, and in Martin Simmonds hes found a collaborator to match the big ideas in this book.

  • 97

    Major Spoilers

    A neat summary of the dead end America has blundered into in the last few years, THE DEPARTMENT OF TRUTH #1 is a clever blend of knowing writing, and some glorious artwork. Come for the conspiracy theories, and pray that the liars never win.

  • 96

    Monkeys Fighting Robots

    The Department Of Truth #1 is everything great about comic books right now. It has a big-budget film quality with independent ideas. Tynion IV, Simmonds, and Bidikar take risks, and it pays off with a fantastic first issue, and it will be something Monkeys Fighting Robots will talk about when “Best of 2020” comes around.

  • 95

    Lyles Movie Files

    James Tynion IV kicks off a fascinating new series that explores the power of belief and truth with The Department of Truth.

    Tynion kicks things off back in Dallas 1963 immediately after the assassination of President Kennedy.

    In the president day, a man named Cole Turner is being questioned by a man and his associate Ruby about Cole’s investigations into online chat groups. These groups have fully bought into concepts like the earth is flat and the landing on the moon was faked.

    Artist Martin Simmonds utilizes a frenetic style similar to Bill Sienkiewicz. It sets up an uneasiness that’s somewhat hard to distinguish fiction from reality fully playing into the theme of the book. Simmonds’ style is somewhat disorienting particularly with the color blends and is huge departure from the norm, which may be off putting to some readers.

    The big payoff for the issue is a big spoiler, but it sets up a really exciting premise that sets the stage for another can’t miss title from Image.

  • 94

    Comic Watch

    HE DEPARTMENT OF TRUTH#1 and #2 form a superbly crafted debut providing an entry point into a world of secrets and conspiracies whose central premise is cleverly illustrated through a series of twists of real world ideas and events, where up is down and down is up…a future classic in my opinion.

  • 92

    The Super Powered Fancast

    The Story: James Tynion IV crafts a dark and richly layered story in this first issue. Not only is the premise exciting, but it is filled with some interesting and engaging ideas along with an unexpected twist that is exciting in itself. There are a lot of big ideas at play in this first issue and the story keeps the attention of the reader. I can’t wait to see how the plot and the characters develop.

    The Art: Martin Simmonds brings a unique visual style to this issue. Many of the pages are brilliantly composed and interesting. There are a couple of moments where the visuals could be distracting from what the story was trying to convey, but the tone of the art definitely draws in the reader.

  • 90

    Multiversity Comics

    While Tynion provides exemplary writing, the true star of “The Department of Truth” #1 seems to be the artwork and colors presented by Martin Simmonds. There is a rather hefty sense of grit to the entire enterprise, as if seen through a lens that has scratches on it. The entire style has a hefty dose of photorealism, but still through a rough viewpoint not unlike that Simmonds used for “Friendo.” That said, unlike the corporate consumerism of “Friendo,” the imagery in “The Department of Truth” #1 is far more overtly serious. By not focusing too heavily on the details of any one face paradoxically in combination with the realistic approach, there remains an air of intense mystery, from the disgustingly zooming in on antagonistic figures’ pores and mouths to make readers feel very uncomfortable to a less intense focus for Turner himself.

  • 90

    Comics: The Gathering

    If you’re a fan of horror or sci-fi then you’re in for quite a read. The ending to this issue definitely has me signed up for this series and I’m all for finding out how deep this rabbit hole goes.

  • 85

    Graphic Policy

    The Department of Truth #1 is an engaging debut issue with James Tynion tapping into the expansive worldbuilding of his previous titles like Memetic and its sequels while Martin Simmonds shows that painted art can have a few, new tricks up its sleeves in 2020. They also introduce some actually compelling mysteries and tap into our fearful zeitgeist where believers and spinners of harmful conspiracies have entirely too much power.

  • 85

    Sequential Planet

    The Department of Truth is off to a fantastic start. It’s timely, chilling, and absolutely intriguing. Tynion IV, Simmonds, and the rest of the creative team have a hit on their hands already.

  • 84

    Forces Of Geek

    The story is excellent. This may be Tynion’s best work.

    The art is the real disappointment though. I am not a Martin Simmonds fan. He doesn’t have an appealing style of his own. It took me put of the story often.

    Overall, though, this is an enjoyable book and much better than I was expecting.

  • 80

    Pastrami Nation

    Tynion has crafted a story full of intrigue and danger, with artwork that matches the mood perfectly. I love the guiding principle in this book, that belief by several individuals can change the world. It is scary yet intriguing. Simmonds artwork is scratchy and emotional, so fitting for a book of this nature. I loved the debut issue: The Department of Truth shines the light on the craziness of conspiracies, and by the end, you might believe as well.

  • 80

    But Why Tho?

    When all is said and done, Department of Truth #1 isan interesting first issue. The big reveal at the end is a bit hard to wrap your brain around, but at the same time presents too much possibility not to follow up on. It is as interesting a premise, as it is a terrifying one.

  • 80

    After just one issue, it’s hard to tell exactly what The Department of Truth is trying to say. It has picked a sadly relevant topic in our current moment, and it doesn’t seem to be afraid to actually dig a bit instead of treating conspiracy theories as harmless fictional fodder. However, we’ll see just how far down the proverbial rabbit hole The Department of Truth is willing to go—it will have to really peel back the layers to possess some meaningful impact.

  • 60

    Doom Rocket

    The dangers and psychosis of conspiratorial thought are right there in the crosshairs of The Department of Truth, but I think it misses. (The bizarre twist at the end is off-beat enough to be intriguing.) The premise could speak volumes to the ways in which knowledge can be created and controlled by those in power to nefarious ends. The world we’re all living in seems more and more like a conspiracy theory come true, so it’s only fitting that Department of Truth should be right there to tighten our focus on it.

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