Vindication #1 (Image Comics)
Image comics puts out a LOT of titles, sometimes even dwarfing efforts from larger publishers like DC and Marvel. But, like all publishers, that doesn’t mean all of their titles are good, and Vindication is one of those regrettable examples. The miniseries from MD Marie and artist Carlos Miko has a great premise, but is saddled with some really clunky dialogue and inconsistent art to make it really stand out.
MD Marie’s script starts out by focusing on Turn Washington, a wrongfully convicted criminal who gets out of jail after 10 years. Marie uses Turn’s life as an African American in the criminal justice system to tell a heartfelt and harrowing tale of what it’s like to be a minority on the wrong side of the law, but her script is too clunky and full of cliched dialogue to get the point across. There’s a lot of exposition and inner monologues in this book, so much so that I feel like she maybe didn’t know who her artist would be in this series, so she front-loaded her script to make up for it.
Speaking of the art, Carlos Miko really has a lot of room to grow. While his art is far from terrible in Vindication, it’s also pretty all over the place. For every panel with a good composition and page layout, there’s at least two more that feature awkward poses or weird faces. Characters don’t look the same from panel to panel, something that’s pretty major when releasing a comic book on a publisher like Image.
It’s a real shame that Vindication doesn’t have a stronger debut, as it really has a great message. But as it stands right now, it’s just an okay way of trying to deal with a very difficult topic. They can’t all be winners, but it would’ve been nice if Vindication had been one.