Writer: MD Maries
Artist: Carlos Miko & Dema Jr.
Turn Washington was an inmate in prison, serving a life sentence without parole for a horrible crime. After a revelation regarding the evidence, Turn has been set free. Detective Chip Christopher isn’t convinced that Turn is innocent though, and is just waiting for an excuse to lock him up again.
MD Maries’ Vindication is a relevant story that features a detective who may have good intentions but is marred by extreme prejudice. The detective is a detestable character from the start, constantly bending rules, altering the optics, and just being a bad person. The character is interesting despite how awful he is, and some readers will get a kick out of watching him be bad. Unfortunately, detective Christopher is the only interesting character though, and no one else really shines in this issue.
This issue’s dialogue is weak, with cliches filling the pages. Most conversations are either unremarkable, cheesy or just exist to fill the panels. The characters’ reactions and responses to each other are predictable and repetitive.
All of these issues’ shortcomings are a shame because it has a sound premise. In a decade defined by Black Lives Matter, the story of a cop trying to tiptoe between his job and racial prejudice could be something special. Those who want dirty cop drama will surely find something they love, but this issue will only appeal to a specific audience.
Carlos Miko’s pencils are fine and fit the tone of the issue well. Unfortunately, there are plenty of issues throughout the book that severely damages the experience. The characters look way too stiff in just about every panel. Most of the poses are unnatural in some way or another. On top of the poses, the facial expressions are devoid of any life. If they don’t lack life, they are simply so outlandish that they are almost laughably bad. The panels fail to make the action move smoothly across the pages, making the story feel choppy and hard to follow.
The art isn’t all bad though. The thick lines inked by Dema Jr. suit the theme of the issue well. While the characters in each panel don’t look great, there is an impressive amount of detail in the backgrounds. No panel feels lazy, and every page feels like it was made with love.
Vindication #1 is a disappointingly generic debut. The series was presented as a culturally relevant story, but instead, it’s just another story with a dirty cop. Unless the series goes in a different direction, this one will be easy to pass.
Unless the series goes in a different direction, this one will be easy to pass.