About a mile outside of New York City there is an underground maximum security prison called Tartarus. It’s inhabitants are the ever growing population of rejects from the United States governments super solider program. If this is news to you, then congratulations, you just stepped into the world of Vindication. If you think its a really bad idea to put a bunch of super powered lab rats in cells a mile outside of the most populated city on earth then congratulations, you’re smarter then average government conspirator.
Vindication is a comic book series that falls into an extremely over-saturated super genre of comic books, for better or for worse. What I mean by that is simply that super hero comics are everywhere. Beyond the excess of comics being published by Marvel and DC there is a large number of independent super hero comics that exist that you have probably never heard of. This is because its significantly harder to create a new and intriguing super hero story without facing thousands of comparisons to the last 80 years of super hero stories.
That being said, everything about Vindication is done well, but whether it separates itself from the pack is hard to say. This review is based of issue 3 and issue 3 only. From reading one issue ( and not the first one mind you) I can honestly say Vindication does a good job of drawing you into its story and its characters.
We immediately learn that government has been experimenting on humans for years in attempts to make super soldiers. The vast majority of them have been failures and are locked away under New York. The ones that are successful are deployed with orders from the United States government and are known to the general population as “Supers”. The story is focused on Surge, a “super” of unknown origin. He wasn’t created by the government, he isn’t controlled by them, and that’s a problem. He does do typical super hero stuff: beating up bad guys, being super moody and mysterious, and of course not listening to anyone except himself. Surge has gathered a group of other supers who he feels have their hearts in the right place, but the purpose he has brought them all together is unknown, except that there is something very bad coming and that they need to be prepared. Naturally after being introduced to this group Surge goes off on his own to deal with what he deems to be a “personnel problem”.
What makes this fairly standard super hero dynamic work is the art and the writing. Both are executed at a high level that drives every other element of the comic home. The writing has a dark noir feel that keeps a simple and rather familiar story interesting. The dialogue is quick and straight forward, never boring you, only telling you what you need to know when you need to know. The art builds on this heavily. Character expressions and gestures help move the story along and add to the noir feel of the comic. The colors are smooth, mixed with all the shadows and the pencil detail it creates a look that is easy on the eyes, but also everything you wanted out of your super hero art. The art is consistent throughout the comic, never skipping a beat and giving a very traditional super hero look to what seems to be a traditional super hero comic. Both the artist and the writer hit the nail on the head when brining this book to life, they truly capture the essence of the super hero comic.
Vindication’s strongest point is its execution. Will it be able to separate it self from the masses of other super hero stories out there? I don’t know. The creators clearly have enough talent and understanding of the genre to take this book where ever they want it to go. So if you are tired of reading about the same old super hero’s or your just a super hero fan looking for a new read check out Vindication. It has great potential, a high level of execution and it should be consider by comic fans everywhere.