Locked Room, Meet Deep Blue Sea

Dept. H Volume 1: Pressure by Matt Kindt. Dark Horse, 2017. 9781616559892. Contains Dept. H #1 – #6.

First, a word to describe Sharlene Kindt’s colors: fantastic. They perfectly accentuate and add to the sketchy energy of Matt Kindt’s drawings, and give a great sense of time and place whether the setting is a flashback, deep space, or far, far underwater.

Mia is sent to her father’s deep sea research station to solve his murder and to figure out who has been sabotaging its mission. The future of the world is dependent on its research (I think they’re trying to cure a disease that’s run amok). Everyone is a suspect: Lily (Mia’s childhood friend), Raj (her brother), Roger (her dad’s best friend), Aaron (research assistant), Q (tattooed head of security), Bob (weapons and demo expert), and Jerome (head of research). Mia fears nothing except the truth, that one of them is a murderer.

Her father’s body floats in a sealed-off section of the base, the scene of the crime. Then the base’s communication antenna is damaged and, in a danger-filled moment, so is Mia’s diving suit. There are giant deep sea creatures. Raj goes missing. Someone goes insane. Hatches are opened all over the base and it floods. And at one weird moment there’s some kind of specter.

It’s nonstop but somehow full of beautiful moments that made me go Wow, that’s what it would be like to be so far underwater.


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