Indie Comic Review: Michael Avon Oeming’s The Victories #1

Michael Avon Oeming’s Victories is a dark and twisted take on the twisted and tangled lives of “heroes” and “villains”.  In a messed up world where everyone is on the take and no one is innocent, does it really matter whether or not you kill some one?  This fine line is walked by many heroes.  Batman is probably the most famous, but Spider-Man has definitely shown an aversion to killing.  That fine, yet hardline stance is what separates them from so many other heroes.  It is part of who they are at the core.

In Victories, Avon Oeming mashes the two characters in to a wise-cracking vigilante of justice who battles a sadistic killer who dresses as an anthropomorphic Jackal.  The action takes place in a city on the verge of collapse due to wide-spread corruption and misconduct.  So, yeah.  Victories is a Spider-Bat book.

With a lot more blood and swearing.

I had a difficult time making it through the book.  It wasn’t because the art was bad.  It isn’t.  In fact the art is fantastic.  Michael Avon Oeming should ALWAYS have a book to work on just so we can have a monthly dose of his art.  It is exciting, frenetic, and full of shapes and angles which allow the reader to fill in the blanks of the action as much as the actual art conveys what is happening.  One thing is for certain, you will never be bored looking at an Oeming book!

I had a difficult time getting through the book because it just felt flimsy.  There did not seem to be enough of a story to merit 24 pages.  The central conceit, one “villain” trying to convince a “hero” that it is ok to kill really really bad guys, just wasn’t enough for me.  there needed to be more layers to the characters, more nuance to the story.

Oeming attempts to add in some of that to the “hero” character, Faustus.  In one scene, Faustus is seen in a crummy apartment, drinking a beer, and lamenting the fact that he was too late to save one of the victims of the Jackal’s attack.  Oeming hints that there may be more going on here than expected.  There is some scrawled writing asking repeatedly, “Why am I like this?”  However, Faustus decides simply, “I’ll do better tomorrow.”  Huh?  Really?  That’s it?

The first issue of The Victories is a mixed bag.  It has gorgeous art and a paper-thin story.  There needs to be more added to the story for this to justify me spending $3.99 every month. I cannot imagine how this story is going to fill 5 issues worth of pages.  I will be back next month to see what Oeming does as far as flesh out the story.  If nothing else it will be 24 more pages of awesome art. If I like what he does with the story, then I’ll continue reading it.  If I don’t like what he does, there is always Powers.

Check out a three page preview of the book here.

Michael Avon Oeming’s Victories is out from Dark Horse comics today.

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