Vindicated, Inc., a successful Kickstarter project, answers the question of how one disabled veteran deals with his PTSD. An action series written and drawn by Gerry Kissell with cover art by Mr. Kissell and Drew Moss, this first issue hits the ground running.
Though under the care of a thoughtful and concerned psychiatrist, John, nevertheless, prefers to use his internal rage to take down local Seattle criminals. An extremely proficient Special Ops soldier, John and his team search for a kidnapped girl. It takes an unexpected turn, however, when other seasoned professional soldiers attempt to stop him. He soon discovers that the low-life criminals he has been tracking and killing may be a front for something much bigger and more dangerous than he ever imagined.
Loaded with military vernacular, this action comic reminds me a bit of X from Dark Horse Comics, but without the over-the-top violence. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of violence and action here, but it is well grounded in reality. Drawn in black and white, it suits the subject matter well and gives it more power. The paneling is very effective in moving the story along.
As for the story, I liked that he showed us John in action right from the start. The fact that he’s trying to rescue a little girl makes him sympathetic, but he’s also doing it for a friend which begs the question, would he have gone after the girl if she were a stranger? I also think the writer could have spent a little more time in developing John’s relationships (or lack thereof) with other people. The psychiatrist mentions that John has a service dog, but we never see it. We also only see one member of his team, though we do hear them communicate over the radio. Who are these people and why are they spending all this time and effort supporting him? Some of the action sequences could have been a bit shorter to allow for more character development. John is clearly a strong and powerful figure, but I would have liked to have seen more complexity to his character rather than being told backstory.
I do like the art and the fact that the main character is a disabled veteran. Comics need to see more diversity in their characters, and I’m happy that Mr. Kissell has introduced us to a new type of hero.