Vindication #3 Was Very Cathartic
The subject of police violence against black people is a controversial and difficult topic to tackle well in media. Often it can lead to wildly different or extreme points of view that make either side look ridiculous. Examples include cops seeming like monsters hellbent on shooting and pinning crimes on anyone of a darker complexion or black people seeming like unremorseful thugs or born criminals, but luckily Vindication strikes a decent balance with a few missteps that can be easily overlooked, but still makes for an interesting read.
The book begins with black female Detective Ar-Ahmad and her “woke” white male partner, Detective Connors, sitting in a bar and discussing the open floodgates after a black suspect commits suicide in the back of a police car. Connors believes that it’s just another racist white cop trying to get away with murder.
Ar-Ahmad, however, disagrees with the assertion that all cops are racist and goes to bat for her ex-boyfriend/possible crooked cop, Chip Christopher, after Connors accuses him of planting evidence at a crime scene to frame Turn Washington, the man Chip believes murdered his partner ten years before the start of the series.
Top Cow paints a Modern Noir mixed with Depravity
Meanwhile Chip, investigating a murder that he believes Turn may have committed, is kidnapped by Turn and a few friends and subsequently beaten up. This part of the book is most certainly the best part as we learn the two perspectives of both characters.
In a bit of karmic revenge, Turn lays down the hands of a man who has been wronged and had no way to rectify what had been done to him, all the while dispelling the lies about his arrest. Using Chip as a proxy for the cops that beat him and later left him for dead in a cell, he pummels the Detective.
Explaining that he was cuffed and didn’t resist arrest, nor was he on drugs at the time. He was wrongly accused of a crime he didn’t commit and Chip blames him for the murder of his partner, but in reality, it was another group of black teenagers.
Victim of his Environment
Chip rationalizes that it was never about color, but about how during his first five years on the force he saw the depravity that people were capable of. It made him jaded, hard and tough and gave him the harsh outlook that there truly was no good to be found on the streets. His partner was just about the only shining light that he had before that light was snuffed out in another act of street violence.
On the one hand, you have a man that has truly been victimized and continues to be victimized by the system and is only trying to clear his name. On the other, you have a man who will almost stop at nothing to dispense justice (really revenge), even at the expense of possible innocents.
Having both of these different points of view, while it definitely skirts towards Turn Washington’s side, is still good. I don’t believe that Chip is a racist, but he definitely holds VERY prejudicial views. He can still change and Turn isn’t exactly the most upstanding citizen, but he’s doing his best to prove his innocence.
After their conversation, Chip is knocked out and left in his car only for his partner to find him the next morning as there’s been another murder. The witness, a juror alongside the victim in Turn Washington’s original murder case, points to Turn as the murderer, immediately rousing from Chip. The witness, a creepy novelist with a lazy eye, claims that he saw Washington standing over he body of the other juror at around eleven o’clock to midnight, the same time Chip was held by him. The book ends with Chip starting to believe that there may be more to things than they seem.
This book isn’t exactly groundbreaking. The story is very topical, but not all that interesting. It has a very true crime feel to it, like a Tami Hoag or James Patterson novel, but lacks the oomph that keeps one interested in those stories. The subject matter is tackled well enough in this issue, but it is still VERY ham-fisted in its approach.
The art is good with very realistic faces and backgrounds, but it’s a double edged sword as nothing especially captures the attention and can even come off as bland in the final third of the issue. The next issue will be the final one and hopefully will have a very satisfying conclusion so I would definitely recommend buying it to finish off the story!
How did we rate Vindication #3? 4 Sodas
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