Vindication #4 // Review
A story of corrupt cops, dirty deals and shadowy intentions reaches its big climax in the final issue of Image/Top Cows crime drama Vindication. The four-issue story reaches its ending courtesy of writer MD Marie with art by Carlos Miko and inks by Dema Jr. Dark, muted colors washes everything under the authority of Thiago Goncalves. A relatively uninspired crime drama reaches its end exactly the way it had throughout the other three issues of its run. The mood for the entire series is nothing if not consistent, but the climactic events at the end of the story scarcely feel satisfying.
Turn Washington had been framed. Detective Chip Christopher was all but certain that he was guilty in spite of his release from prison. Turn had been guilty of murder until such time as he was exonerated. Christopher was determined to find the truth, which involved some shady figures and an SD card with certain evidence that everyone seemed to be after. This issue Christopher confronts a few people responsible for the whole thing, which turns out to be considerably more sinister than previous events may have suggested
Marie brings the story to a close capably. Shadowy people do shadowy things in the shadows for shadowy reasons. So it’s a bit repetitious. Aside from specific plot points that are revealed in the course of the story, there really isn’t that much here that FEELS all that different from what has transpired in previous issues, which feels a bit anticlimactic considering that this is actually the final issue in the mini-series. There’s nothing expressly wrong with the plot. Standard police procedural stuff, but not enough to really engage the reader from beyond the shadows.
Miko delivers a very reliable darkness to the page. Everything is so mysterious...even a police detective’s office looks shady and sinister. Everyone is beaten, sullen and exhausted at the end of the series. It’s been kind of a long four issues for everyone and there isn’t a single character here who is anything other than emotionally dead. This might have felt satisfying in some way were it not for the fact that much of the rest of the series has been drawn with the same kind of shady torpor that envelopes this issue. There’s nothing compellingly dark about the visuals being conjured here. The final scenes shuffle off the page in the direction of a promo or the next Witchblade. Somewhere in the distance there can be heard the gentle sigh of a crime that has reached its conclusion.
There were some really interesting elements to the series. The strange enigma of an SD card. The contrast between an exonerated criminal lifted out of criminal justice and a police detective who descends into abject criminality. There was real potential in this story. It spent way too much of its time slinking along in shadows to manage much genuine interest. This being said, the story itself isn’t all that bad. It’s all very internally consistent in mood, tone and content. It’s too bad there wasn’t more to recommend it.