I was really down on this book after the first issue. Honestly it was all I could do to muster up the strength to go back for another dose. Luckily I did, because this issue is far better than the first and has me excited for the next issue. So, how did it create such a turn around in just 24 pages? It got rid of pretty much everything that annoyed me about the first issue and focused on telling a good story.
One of the biggest problems I had with the last issue was the terrible script. The characters talked incessantly. Not only that, but they tried to be witty and failed miserably. It was painful to read. I wanted a mute button so I could just look at Oeming’s art.
This time around, Oeming jettisoned most of the annoying chatter and tried to have the characters actually communicate. Aside from the annoying D.D. Mau he was successful (although, to be fair, he was TRYING to make her annoying). Characters in this issue actually speak in a manner which resembles real human conversation. Even though they are wearing masks and engaging in super-human battles, the people speaking the lines are far more human than before. I actually am beginning to care for the main character and feel like the antagonist of the series could be a real threat (as opposed to someone to be mocked).
It feels like the first issue had all the things that Oeming needed to get out of his system to prove that this was going to be “different than anything you have ever read”. Now he can settle down and focusing on telling a story that is “better than anything you have ever read”. For The Victories to work, Oeming needs to continue to avoid the “shock value” scenes of the first issue and focus on storytelling which develops a plot.
The plot takes center stage in this book, with The Victories teaming up to take down a Float house. float is the illegal street drug which gives users a literal high. They are able to float in the air in a state of euphoria while on the drug. Over time the drug causes physical mutations and eventual death.
Peppered throughout the book are smaller character moments which shed light not only on the main character, Faustus, but also on some of the other characters. It all happens in a natural manner and helps to complete the picture of who these vigilantes are. More importantly, it gives the reader a reason to care about them (something I did not feel after the first issue).
Oeming’s art continues to be the strongest part of the book. Fans of his work on Powers should be pleased as he really lets loose in this book. His characters are more shapes and angles than actual figures. This gives them the feel that they are more than human, something beyond you and me. But, when you get down to it, that is what they shouldbe!
Issue two was a pleasant surprise. My hope for this series has returned. With that renewed, I will be back for the second issue. Hopefully Oeming will deliver another issue like this one!
Micahel Avon Oeming’s The Victories #2 is in stores now. You can check out a two page preview of the issue here.