Review: Deep State #1 – You Might Not Be So Paranoid After All
JFK was killed by the government. The moon landing was faked. The government is covering up the existence of UFO’s. The Illuminati control the world.
All of these are commonly known conspiracy theories that most of society rejects. Reasons range from lack of evidence to just not wanting to believe in such terrible things. However there are people who believe these things and dedicate their lives to exposing the truth. They’re called crazy, paranoid and become outcasts. “Deep State” #1 comes along and declares that all of these conspiracies are true and there is an active operation working to cover it all up.
“Deep State” follows Ms. Branch, an agent working in Washington D.C. She’s investigating a twenty year old murder that she’s been told not to work on. She is sent home and waiting for her there is John Harrow. John Harrow works in the shadows covering up any traces of the truth. All those conspiracy theories you thought were made up by paranoia? All true and he’s there to recruit Branch into his organization that works to cover all of it up, keep them theories. She says yes and they go off on their first mission together.
“Deep State” is another example of what Justin Jordan does so well. A lot of his work is visibly influenced by something but he takes it to another level and makes the story completely his own. “Spread” reminds me of The Thing all while being something brand new and now “Deep State” reminds me of The X-Files but again, is totally its own thing. There is no generic believer – skeptic relationship here. We aren’t going to have to deal with the annoying melodrama of one character having to prove to the other that what they are seeing in front of them is real. This is freeing to not only Jordan as a writer but also to the reader because there’s a level of unpredictability added to the series.
The relationship between Branch and Harrow is interesting because the age difference, I think, is to signify that this won’t be romantic. It’s refreshing to see that route taken so early on. Harrow also never talks down to Branch. He is instead teaching her the way one would if your partner was on their first day of the job. In this sense she acts as the audience and she’ll be the one we connect with the most because of this.
Ariela Kristantina’s art is very well done. Her style is very well suited for this story. The shadows are used very well given that this entire story takes place in the shadowy part of society. It’s a very dark book so the darkness of the art sets and adds to the atmosphere. Colorist Ben Wilsonham is a big part of making this art work. He finds the right palette of colors to use that make everything pop even in the shadows.
“Deep State” #1 is a very strong debut that signifies the start of something very special. I am immediately excited for the next issue. With authentic characters, a very strong premise and great art, “Deep State” is not a comic to be missed.