A Thing Called Truth #1 (Review)

Nov 2, 2021

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A THING CALLED TRUTH #1 (REVIEW)

This new story from Image Comics is a fast and disorienting trip of the most enjoyable kind. A Thing Called Truth is the first of a series planned by the creative team behind Alice In Leatherland. (And yes, I really kept seeing “Wonderland” until about the third time I read that — I’m even more curious now.) I can’t wait to see if A Thing Called Truth will be able to deliver on the promising dilemmas and situations that were set up in this first issue.

Image Comics
Written and Lettered by: Iolanda Zanfardino
Art by: Elisa Romboli

And who are these key players? There may be others, but there are definitely two. Our protagonist appears to be Magdalene “Mags” Trȁumer, whose last name is similar to the verb meaning “to dream” in German, interestingly. She is a high-powered research doctor working on a game-changing medical breakthrough rather intensely for almost 6 years. (That’s around 5.85 years, if any other blerds & nerds of all kinds want to avoid breaking out a calculator like I did after the doctor mentions the exact number of days on her project!) Let’s be honest. She is a workaholic. We then get to see her go home, with several clear signs she has neglected the rest of her life for a good long while. (This set of details hits rather close to home. Pun intended.)

Doctor Trȁumer’s Wild Ride?

From here, things get exponentially stranger for Dr. Mags. The morning brings a number of strange indications that she has lost access to her research, and she is told she resigned. Is she being gaslighted, or have we missed something because we’re seeing the world through her exhausted eyes? While I could lay odds based on some information it’s best I don’t share, let’s just say it’s hard be sure, but something is rotten in the world of Mags.

Instead of things getting sorted out, they get more chaotic and keep going further off the tracks. This leads to the first meeting of our second lead character from the start of this issue. I think it’s fair to say she has some identity flexibility, and we do not get her name here. She is a rather exciting and mysterious figure in this part of the story. I would say that the way she first encounters Dr. Mags is a “cute meet,” but there’s also a bit of a shock involved. Trust that you want to see this one for yourself.

A Compelling Head Scratcher

Honestly, there’s more information about our two leads in the way they act in the start of the issue before the flashback than in the actual flashback to the beginning of their time together. For example, when you read this, and you should read this, notice who is driving the car and compare how they meet, and where they end up together. Nothing makes much sense yet; this is a real head scratcher, but it’s also somehow compelling at the same time. There are ways in which both characters show their best selves and their “backstage” selves, so that a lot of humanity about both of them comes through, despite the unusual circumstances under which they come together when they first meet. We don’t even know yet how long it is between the flashback and the “end at the beginning.”

I am as full of anticipation as I am questions. This is a thrill ride I feel like I want to take, given where it started. Please take my advice—give this book some attention. And in the meantime, please, creative team, bring us some answers to explain this seemingly magical trip in progress! You’ve got my attention; bring on the Thing Called Truth. Let’s take this ride together!

SUMMARY

A Thing Called Truth #1, by Image Comics, starts in the midst of the end of its own story, using this ending to pull us into flashback mode. From here we are poised to figure out how these two characters ended up where they are when the tale begins. Where they are in the flashback could not be much more different than where they are in the peek we get into the story’s end. To say more would be to spoil the fun of discovery. But if there are not some big clues coming soon as to what on earth set these unusual events in motion, this reader is going to have to go full-on Veruca Salt. “Don’t care how, I want it now!” Bring it on; more of *this* Truth, I am surely ready to handle!

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