Review: Of The Same Coin #1
Created By: Michael Finnie, Graham Rammell
Writer: Michael Finnie
Artwork: Geoff Mosse
Colours: David B Cooper
Letters: Ken Reynolds
When debut writer Michael Finnie posted this comic on Kickstarter he said that “Of the Same Coin #1″ is a gritty crime thriller based in the streets of London. It draws its inspiration from: The Untouchables, Heat, Line of Duty and the work of Guy Ritchie.” And what a thriller it was to read. The storyline provides something that has long been missing from the UK comic scene – a truly gritty crime story. It’s a category that we explore more in novels and TV shows. However, if Finnie has done anything he’s proven that the genre should be used more in comics.
If you didn’t hear about his Kickstarter when it launched on March 1st 2021 it’s probably because the story was fully funded by March 2nd. In fact by March 31st 2021 over double of the original £800 target was raised by supporters. This accomplishment is not all that surprising once you get into Finnie’s work.
Of the Same Coin follows the story of Detective Inspector Tommy Wright and Dominic Gauche. Gauche is the elusive leader of a firm of assassins for hire and Wright the Detective tasked with catching him. This issue establishes both teams focusing heavily on allowing the reader to understand the motives and morals of both sides. Finnie presents an interesting take on justice in this story. Where no one really feels like the bad guy – everyone is just doing their job.
Of the Same Coin presents an intriguing confrontation between two opposing ideas of justice. The comic follows the rivalry between the relentless detective, Tommy Wright, and the criminal mastermind, Dominic Gauche. While both believe they are executing justice perfectly, they stand diametrically opposed. The comic uses Wright and Gauche to represent the struggle between the court of law and vigilante justice.
This first issue focused on establishing the two main characters and their teams. Detective Wright has a single goal – to take down Gauche, why? Because Gauche is a bad guy who kills people, obviously. That is all Detective Wright needs to know. His sense of right and wrong is strongly aligned with the law and it’ll be interesting to see if this changes in future issues.
Our second character is Dominic Gauche, who leads his group of assassins in eliminating guilty parties that escape legal punishment. The group runs under the guise of being a private investigator firm which feels like the perfect cover-up. Gauche has some brutal methods, however they are not completely immoral. Instead, they follow a strict moral code. This code is well established in this issue, an example being that Gauche refuses to kill a man for adultery but suggests he would have taken the case if there had been abuse.
Of the Same Coin has established a sharp contrast between the characters in this issue, leaving the reader to question the justice system and compare it to Gauche’s vigilante justice. It is very difficult to favour the police instead of rooting for the criminals when the legal system fails to enforce justice. The story compels the reader to consider that our world is not black and white. Good and bad exist in shades of grey.
Finnie sets a great pace in this issue, taking the right amount of time to let readers get to know his characters. Who are all clearly fleshed out and well established in his writing. I look forward to getting to know the supporting cast more in future issues.
The artwork in this issue is good, the layout is enjoyable, and the framing of certain panels adds a realistic and intense feeling to the story. The art has a gritty feeling that works really well for the story, allowing for the characters to feel developed and real throughout. The gritty look is appropriate to the story however occasionally threw me off a little bit – something a little less gritty would have been more pleasing aesthetically for me.
The use of colour in the comic is great, with both of the narratives being presented in different hues. Panels with red pigments portray Gauche/the criminals and the events that take place from their perspective. In contrast, the panels that focus on Wright and the police have shades of grey. These panels focus on the police narrative which naturally emphasizes the terrible things the vigilantes have done.
This definitely intensifies the divide between the two groups and allows the story to shine more – a great artistic choose for this comic.
Of the Same Coin presents an excellent first issue. The premise of law vs vigilante justice, is well-developed and has allowed Finnie to prove himself as an excellent thriller writer. The storyline is intriguing and the character development that has been great for only 36 pages, yes, I’d prefer a smoother art style but that’s a personal preference and the artwork is still amazing and story appropriate. Overall, Of the Same Coin is definitely worth the read and I’ll be eagerly awaiting the next issue.
I kept my review spoiler light. So if you want to read it for yourself and discover the intriguing world of Of The Same Coin you can find the Kick-Starter Page here. To keep up to date on Of The Same Coin you can find the creator’s Twitter here.
This Review also appeared on The BGCP Disassembled Podcast #5. Which is available on Spotify, Youtube and other good podcast platforms .
If you have thoughts or opinions on Of The Same Coin or this review, leave them in the comments below!
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