Comic Book Review: Michael Avon Oeming’s The Victories #1
Michael Avon Oeming’s The Victories out of Dark Horse takes us into a bleak dystopian future, not too far from where we are now. Society is corrupt, the police can’t be trusted, judges take bribes… all that good stuff.
But in this world six costume heroes have sworn to protect mankind from the things that go bump (or in some cases, BLAM!!!) in the night. These six individuals call themselves The Victories.
The Victories #1 focuses on one of the six in particular, the wise-cracking Faustus.
So what does The Victories bring to the table that’s different from the rest of the superhero comics out there?
Well, what we get here is something I’ve been thinking about for some time in comics: what are the psychological effects on a human being who decides to hide behind a mask and beat people up all night? What does that do to a person’s mind; to not only take a personal stand against the status quo, but to step over that acceptable line in society and start punching people? And once you ignore one social taboo, what’s stopping you from going further and crossing more lines?
Sure, recently we had Bendis and Maleev’s Moon Knight, but I feel that short-lived run didn’t really have the chance to explore much more than the surface stuff. Hopefully The Victories will dig a little deeper.
I’m no fan of Oeming’s work. I can count on two fingers the number of issues I’ve read of Powers and The Mouse Templar that I’ve actually read. Never hated his stuff, it’s just never caught my imagination until now.
The Victories #1 reads really well. Oeming’s art and writing had me turning the pages at such a rate I was surprised (and a little disappointed) when I got to the end so quickly. Faustus’ story is so riveting that you can’t help but fly through The Victories #1.
Oeming has a unique, recognizable, and unmistakable artistic style, and his depictions of Faustus in the city (especially the double page splash) remind me of Mike Mignola’s work on Hellboy: dark, black and gritty.
Oeming’s cityscapes are really cool and his action sequences are awesome. His layouts and panel design are original enough to make reading interesting, but not so hard on the eyes that it’s hard to read.
All in all, I think The Victories #1 is a big bucket of win. I wasn’t overly fussed about getting into yet another superhero comic book, but this one promises to be a good read.
Oh yeah, this isn’t a kid’s comic. The violence isn’t too graphic, but the swearing is plentiful and it is a bit darker in tone than most parents would like.
The Victories #1 is a on shelves now and well worth the investment. I’ll be keeping my eye on this comic and you should too.