In an age of superhero comics, Michael Avon Oeming has a chance to achieve something large: a superhero team book that would, at a stroke, give an edge to a predictable genre.
At a time when tropes are reiterated, Oeming’s Dark Horse published comic The Victories can offer something more. The mini series that ended recently was good, but a lot of the ideas didn’t seem fleshed out enough. Could the new ongoing series fair better, and more importantly, is it good?
Michael Avon Oeming’s The Victories #1 (Dark Horse Comics)
This issue opens with internal monologue from a very morose yet tempered villain waxing off about the state of the city he lives in. He’s used to explain to the reader what’s going on: there is no electricity, the villains have stolen nearly all the money, and food lines are prevalent.
In some sense the monologue is like a sermon to convey the dark mood that the city is currently in. It sets the tone incredibly well and with the help of Oeming’s art conveys just how bleak things have gotten. It’s also important to note his very existence is due to the previous miniseries and while it’s not necessary to read the previous issues to understand what’s going on, this definitely adds some gravity to the situation.
The middle of the book then switches to a much more chipper and bootylicious hero from the Victories as she and her compatriots try to take down Bacchus. This villain uses a magic object that makes you extremely drunk or horny. Needless to say he’s a little goofy, but still it helps to contrast against the dark and gloomy opening of the book. As she fights she fills you in on her unique powers, what it’s like to have sex as a superhero and her deepest fears.
A cool power that ties into her obsession with her weight.
The beauty of this issue lies in Oeming’s writing when it comes to D.D. She’s a hero, but inherently has fears that just so happen to be tied to her powers. Essentially it’s psychosis as a super power and it allows Oeming to tackle real world issues, but also serve as an entertaining and intrigue concept. Her powers, you see, allow her to run off 200 pounds of fat she puts on in her sleep. But if she runs too fast she’ll become brittle and weak to the point of death. All the while she’s worried about how she looks and always had due to some troubles with mom and dad. It may sound like something you’ve heard a thousand times but it reads incredibly genuine here.
Gotta love the colors.
Oeming’s art is very cartoony, so it might be a shock when you see characters swearing and gallivanting around butt naked. That is the beauty of this book though, because there are ideas at work that challenge what you think of superhero comics. Colorist Nick Filardi adds a pop feel with bright pinks when the heroes are on the page, but dank browns and blacks when the villain waxes on about darkness.
- Adult themes done tastefully
- Intriguing Characters
- The art might not be for everyone
And then it all ends beautifully, bookended with the morose character from the opening pages. To jump from a happy, yet emotionally damaged hero, to a depressed yet emotionally clear headed villain helps showcase each spectrum at play. By ending in such a way Oeming also sets up the next issue without wasting time or pages. After growing a little frustrated with the miniseries I’m happy to say I’m 100% on board with this issue.
Is It Good?
Yes. Interesting, fun and exciting. Great comics.