Review - The Victories #5

All good things must come to an end and, if the previous issues are any indication, then The Victories #5 from Dark Horse is slated to be something crazy. As in Jackal crazy.

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

Faustus is in jail. He's facing an extended stay unless he's willing to let someone help him who he'd really rather not help him in the Jackal. The deranged lunatic offers his assistance to Faustus on the condition that Faustus become a killer in a sense, all in an attempt to extract revenge against the Mark, Faustus' former master.

To this point, Oeming has pitched Faustus as an almost eternally conflicted hero, struggling to be both someone the city needs as a protector while also living his own life. As is often the case with superheroes and dual-identities, that never works out. Fortunately for Faustus, his identity is so tied up in his superhero persona, that there's often a lot of overlap between his two lives.

Even when he doesn't have on the mask, he's still tied to the Faustian ideas and code he lives by as the superhero. Jackal has made it a point to force him to pervert that code in the name of vengeance, something very similar to the Joker and Batman in The Dark Knight. There's a dynamic between both Jackal and Faustus that's just sick in a way, which makes for great storytelling.

The art in the fifth and final issue helps the series finish strong. The fight between Faustus and the Mark is brutal and violent, punctuated by the Jackal's involvement as a strong punctuation mark (no pun intended). The entire book is an explosion of emotion told through art and bold color changes, making sure your attention is kept throughout the entire issue.

One more thing on the art. Jackal is deranged not only through his actions, but through his appearance. Just about every panel has his tongue hanging out and wagging, regardless of what he's doing at the time. It sort of adds this loony dimension to him and makes him seem that much more of a complete nutjob. And it's awesome.

Seeing the end of The Victories is a little bittersweet, but fear not! It's clear that Oeming has more stories in mind to tell as the fifth and final issue ended in a way that leaves the door open for more Faustus and Jackal. The Victories #5 is a satisfying conclusion to the miniseries and is definitely worth checking out.

The Victories #5 should be in stores December 12.