Michael Avon Oeming’s The Victories are back. Are we bound for another round of juicy plot, smart-mouthed heroes, and super secret villains or did the series slip into stereotypical moody superhero mayhem? Better yet, is it good?
Michael Avon Oeming’s Victories #4 (Dark Horse)
Check these…erm, “plot points.” And our review of issue #2 here.
This comic spent most of its time switching between Jackal, a madman-with-the-plan-type furry with a penchant for anarchistic destruction, and D.D. Mau, a lady speedster with a hyper metabolism that gives her severe self-image issues.
Jackal’s plot to do dastardly things in Denver International Airport goes down right in front of a really famous mural depicting a gas masked dude chopping up the poor. The symbolism in this scene is so thick you should cut it open to drink its fluids, for it is delicious. The whole comic is ripe with inside nods to the conspiratorial minded community. As a card carrying member of the awakened masses, I love it.
The Drones They’re Watching…
As soon as the good guys show up it’s too late and the body count is quick to rise. The cast has to act quickly to avoid a free, all expenses paid trip to an internment camp. Through use of their friendly neighborhood drones, the heroes quickly gather that the plague recently unleashed is going to be blamed on all champions. Each of the characters deal with this in their own way but D.D. Mau gets most of the focus, and rightfully so. She seems to be the most relatable member of the supergroup. Her fixation on her appearance for both health and vanity reasons, and her general devil-may-care attitude makes her segments more personal than most readers will be used to. To me this kind of complexity draws this title pretty close to a Watchmen kind of feel.
I think this panel involves existential teleportation of a ship.
My favorite part of these books so far are the villains. I have always felt that a big angry powerful villain is fun but not very practical, hence not very terrifying. A calm, persistent, intelligent, and well funded villain is so much more dangerous than a balls-out psycho. Those who are orchestrating these events rarely show their hand, making them more interesting and more ominous.
The difference is similar to the difference between checkers and chess. Most comics have villains that play a mean set of checkers whereas this comic has villains who play several overlapping games of chess at the same time across several boards. This series is the definition of a good “Mature” comic, and it’s not just the nudity, gore, and cussing; it’s more the fact that these characters are mature adults trying to deal with situations much larger than themselves, and quite possibly beyond their skill range. Seeing personalities bend and shape under these kinds of pressures makes them all the more relatable and in a way, inspiring.
Just look at that panel structure. Sexy.
- Art is both cartoony and grounded with seriousness.
- Refreshing plot.
- Mentally complex characters
- The art can sometimes make determining whats going on a little difficult.
- Could benefit from a “Who’s Who” page for readers just starting out.
Is It Good?
Damn good read, buy it. Unless you just want some mindless fighting, then this might not be your issue. If you know anyone who uses the phrases “police state,” “eugenics”, “Illuminati” or “Elitist Authoritarian” on a regular basis, you should buy them this whole series.
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