by Brandy DykhuizenIn the Kindts’ otherworldly Poirot/Cousteau hybrid, Dept. H #3 provides Mia with a moment to take a deep breath and recalibrate her countless grinding gears.

A childhood at sea taught her how to test the extreme limits of her capabilities, at the risk of developing a few dangerous compulsions along the way. This drive, often at the expense of her own well-being, will provide the power for her to keep plugging away at her mission, despite some serious hindrances.

Scary monsters, of the aquatic and human variety, are on the loose. But the long, grasping tentacles that crawl in the deep ain’t got nothing on what’s going on inside the station. Between decades-long tensions, the possible circulation of infectious agents and breached water locks, Mia has all but given up on cobbling together a search and rescue party for her brother. And just when things couldn’t get any kookier, a certain apparition pops up in her chambers, sandbagging itself into her subconscious, much to her dismay.

The frequent switch between flashbacks and the cold reality of the present mirror Mia’s increasingly scrambled perception of the crew. In those circumstances, it only takes one individual to ruin the chances of everyone’s survival, and Mia has tasked herself with the job of finding the murderer while her life is in his hands. Her consciousness begins to teeter on the edge, swirling her as close to the brink as the currents do beyond the walls.

The further into the story Dept. H takes us, the deeper we dive into Mia’s pressure and paranoia. Making your readers feel as choked and helpless as your characters is the mark of excellent writing, and only by sticking it out with Mia to the end can we hope to surface in time to catch our breath.

Dark Horse Comics / $3.99

Story and Art by Matt Kindt.

Colors by Sharlene Kindt.

Letters by Marie Enger.

7.5 out of 10