Review - The Victories #3

A serial killer is on the loose, a drug called Float is wrecking the streets and one hero is faced with a harsh reality. Just another day and another issue for superheroes in The Victories #3 from Dark Horse Comics.

The third issue is written and illustrated by Michael Avon Oeming, with colors by Nick Filardi and letters by Aaron Walker.

Float is a drug with ravaging effects on anyone and everyone. It's not just the drug addicts in the streets finding themselves succumbing to its siren call. There are some of much higher status who fall into the clutches of the drug, which is the premise behind the third issue.

Faustus is forced to confront the demons of his past in his former partner Strike. The duo made a formidable fighting team in their heyday, but only one of them managed to stay clean. Meanwhile, the spectre of Jackal makes an appearance and shows the Victories he's anything but funny.

Faustus is a troubled, troubled hero, with his inner battle on full display in The Victories #3. Oeming does an exceptional job in presenting the character as such here. He's going through the entirety of his past with Strike and feels some responsibility for his falling from grace. It's an extremely powerful emotion of guilt that drives the story in the issue, allowing the reader to fully understand what Faustus is dealing with.

Part of the reason why the guilt is so prevalent is because Oeming uses some fascinating panel layout and art choices. Faustus' heart is on frequent display throughout, serving as something of a guilt meter that presents a visual representation of what he's feeling. It's a great design choice that really gets you to feel his pain and hurt.

The Victories isn't so much a superhero comic as it's a human comic. The Victories (and Faustus) in particular are coping with their own array of issues. Watching their emotions on display is extremely effective in conveying the situation in the city to the reader. And there's still Jackal floating around out there, inevitably setting up to cause more and more mayhem.

The Victories #3 is in stores now.