Review: Michael Avon Oeming’s The Victories Volume 1 TPB
Not long from now, all that will stand between you and evil are THE VICTORIES: heroes sworn to protect us from crime, corruption, and the weird designer drug known as Float. As one member hits the streets looking for blood, he discovers himself touched by a painful past through the powers of a psychic. Will this trauma cause him to self-destruct or to rejoin the good fight? Collects the five-issue miniseries.
Victories, the miniseries that was recently picked up as an ongoing by Dark Horse, is collected in a trade paperback which hits stores today. The story was created, written, and drawn by Michael Avon Oeming. Nick Filardi handles colors and Aaron Walker provides lettering.
The Victories takes place in a future not too far flung from our own. The skies are full of drone cameras that watch over the populace. A designer drug called “Float” has become an epidemic pulling in the city’s youths. The only thing that stands guard over the corrupt and gritty streets are The Victories. The super team of younger heroes are just as messed up, jaded, and dirty as the streets they protect but they have a code and they do not break it. The story focuses on one hero in particular, Faustus. In a world of damaged heroes, Faustus is king. As he takes to the streets to look for an old friend who got mixed up with Float, he starts to unlock memories he has kept buried deep within. A vigilante called The Jackal is dealing his own brand of justice by decapitating all the dirty judges and cops in the city. When he finds out Faustus’ secret, he’ll use it to show the hero that they aren’t that different. Can Faustus cope with the past he kept buried? Will he cross The Victories line and do what they swore not to do?
I have to admit. I read the first issue of Victories when it originally came out toward the end of last year. I was a little harsh in my review and called it vulgarity for the sake of vulgarity. I promised I would revisit it when the trade came out to see if I was wrong. It turns out I was wrong. The book is very dirty and features a lot of adult themes, but when you see the full story play out you see how it’s taking the idea of superheroes and spinning it on its head by making them as messed up and troubled as the villains and even people they face in the line of duty. Oeming writes a fantastic story in the vein of The Watchmen that takes a different look at the heroes we put on a pedestal. He explores some very weighty themes that you don’t see in the heroes and capes books. His art is great. That was one thing I complemented originally and it’s very fantastic the whole way through.
Bottom Line: The Victories is an adult take on a story that would otherwise be a shiny, kid-friendly tale featuring younger superheroes. Oeming offers up something different and gritty that’s worth checking out for the change of pace alone. The first issue was a rough start, but the story as a whole is great. I was wrong. Victories is good. 4.5/5