Review: The Victories #1
Not long from now, all that will stand between you and evil are the Victories—six heroes sworn to protect us from crime, corruption, and the dark. As one member cracks down on the violence, he discovers himself touched by a painful past through the psychic powers of Link. Will this trauma cause him to self-destruct or continue the fight?
Let’s start off by saying that if you’re a huge Michael Avon Oeming fan, then you’ll probably like this. The co-creator of Powers writes a new five issue series with The Victories. Oeming has an impressive resume and body of work, and Victories is his first chance to write and draw a book by himself.
The synopsis is slightly misleading. There is absolutely no sign of The Victories, no information about who they are, and no look at them besides the cover. You hear what people think about them during a news station’s interview in a “man on the street” type segment where people talk about how they feel about the costumed heroes and villains. The real story is about Faustus and The Jackal. The Jackal is the bad guy vigilante who opens the book by killing a judge. Faustus isn’t a very good guy, but he does eventually stop Jackal. The story is more of a character piece about Faustus and the line he walks between good guy and bad guy. He and the Jackal have a history, and we learn a little about that.
The story feels a lot like The Watchmen, too much like The Watchmen. From the opening pages you have the hero high on a building with an opening narration very similar to Rorschach’s speech about the city. It’s a little too on the nose. The Jackal immediately reminded this reader of The Comedian. There are many Watchmen parallels and story steps, but you can see it diverge from Moore’s masterpiece. At times this seems more like a parody of comic books and (say it with me) The Watchmen. It is dark and gritty, but it’s all just a bit weird. This seems to be a story that depends on the full series, but for a single issue it feels lacking.
Oeming’s art is so much better than the story. It is similar to his work on Powers, and he does a great job with the two costumed people and the fight scenes. The book has many touches of the ultra-violence, while over the top at times it is drawn beautifully.
Bottom Line: This story wasn’t as hard a hit as one would hope from Oeming’s outing as a writer. The story lived up to one point- it is the raunchiest superhero book since The Boys, but that’s about all it has going for it. While I will wait for the second issue, this one may be one to save for the trade if you’re interested in it at all. I give The Victories #1 a 2/5