Review: Thumbprint #3
The list of suspects swells as Mal comes to terms with her past sins. Someone in her life is looking for revenge, and they’re determined to get it. Find out who, in the chilling conclusion of Joe Hill‘s Thumbprint.
The pulse-pounding conclusion to Joe Hill’s Thumbprint hits this week. The comic, based on Joe Hill’s novella, is written by Jason Ciaramella. Vic Malhotra provides art with Neil Uyetak handling lettering. The first two issues built a lot up for the final, but does it pay off?
Mal has been getting strange letters and pieces of paper with nothing but a solitary thumbprint enclosed. The former interrogator at Abu Ghraib knows she’s got a lot of skeletons hidden in her closet, but she can’t figure out who could be coming after her since her return to civilian life. The adjustment from her duties as a soldier to her duties as a civilian has been a hard one for Mal. The threatening and mysterious notes don’t help. The mysterious figure watching and taunting her throughout the course of the series is revealed, and it’s the person you would least expect. It’s a fight not only for Mal’s sanity, but her very life when her stalker pays her a visit.
Ciaramella writes a fantastic finale. Everything is paid off and we get callbacks to a few things we probably didn’t expect to be so important. It’s an explosive finale that maintains an air of ambiguity. Has Mal been “punished” for what she did during war? What exactly happens in the final panel? It’s open to your interpretation. The first two issues were slow-burns, but everything is a roaring blaze for most of this issue. Malhotra’s art is just as great as the story. There are a lot of repeated themes and motifs that pop back up to tie the conclusion to everything we saw previously. There is one double-page spread that is particularly great. It’s a gag that feels out of place and too cheeky for what we’ve seen before. It fits perfectly and makes the scene it’s involve with even more grim and macabre than it already is. The colors are pretty subdued and grounded. There are splashes of blood that really stands out. It helps drive home the point that everyone has blood on their hands both literally and metaphorically. It’s truly a great touch.
Bottom Line: Thumbprint is a psychological thriller that delivers on all fronts. Joe Hill and Jason Ciaramella craft a story that leaves a few questions unanswered and plenty of areas filled with shades of grey, but it’s a great ride for the entirety of the three issues. Whether you read it month to month or want to knock it out in one go, it’s definitely one to check out. 4/5