Review - The Victories #1

Typically, if you want superhero comics you turn to Marvel or DC. The Big Two have a stable of characters that everyone recognizes, the majority of which boast some otherworldly power that makes them unique. Those comics aren't really the bread and butter of studios like Dark Horse, but books like The Victories #1 may change that.

The Victories #1 is written and illustrated by Michael Avon Oeming, with colors by Nick Filardi and letters by Aaron Walker.

The Victories is actually the name of a group of superheroes, recipients of both praise and scorn, thanks and fear. Faustus is a hero in that group, a hero with a flair for swearing and kicking ass. He fights corruption in a city rife with it, primarily with judges and government representatives being bought and sold for their influence in decision-making.

While Faustus takes a more even-handed approach, the Jackal is a touch more violent. The entire issue centers around Jackal and Faustus squaring off regarding Judge Meroni, one of the presumed government officials on the take. The two have an interesting dynamic, both fighting corruption but doing so in vastly different ways.

The Victories #1 is a really cool first issue. Oeming has created a story that's not completely new exactly, but what is these days? It's still an interesting story, one that will likely blur the line between right and wrong on more than one occasion.

Faustus is treated as something of a pariah for his choice to not fight the corruption in a way similar to that of the Jackal. It's a contrast that creates natural tension and still leaves the reader to ponder where, precisely, Faustus falls on the morality scale.

Oeming pulls double duty and does the art as well and his art is just as good as the writing. The somewhat blocky and rigid outlines provide a nostalgic feel to the work and even adds a nastiness to the tone. Granted, Faustus looks very similar to a Batman/Nightwing hybrid, but it's not a blatant ripoff or anything.

There are some great panels featuring Jackal, with a few specifically showing him licking his chops. It makes you feel his depravity and adds tremendously to his character. What's more Filardi's colors are violent reds, blacks and blues, giving the reader a sense that you're being beat up as you read the issue. And that's a good thing.

The Victories #1 is genuinely impressive. It's a five-issue miniseries and the first issue didn't exactly leave any major cliffhangers so to speak, but it does point it in a positive direction. This is a definitely a book worth checking out as it's got some potential.

The Victories #1 is in stores August 15.