Review: The Victories #5

Written by Guest Contributor: Jordan North The Victories has always been a bleak comic. Now, that’s not all it is; over the course of the “Transhuman” arc I’ve been treated to many things, comedy, heart, some great characters and sci-fi. But for a comic that boasts darkness and adultness one things for sure-- Victories is a comic of its words.

This run started by laying groundwork for bigger evils below the surface, introducing me into what was very much at its core a standard hero-team set up, but then gave those characters enough life and quirks as to have me riveted when certain characters were on the page. Beyond that though, darkness loomed. Ideas about genocide, poverty and shadowy organizations teemed just under the facade, could we be surprised that the arc would do anything less that something awful? After the surprise champion plague that spontaneously broke out last issue leaving millions dead I expected... nothing really, except for a journey into something extreme. And that’s what I got.

Michael Oeming is a sick man; a sadist really. At least to his characters, these heroes go through ringers that would make Batman’s mythos look like child’s play. And that’s exactly why I like this book so much, utter unpredictability. Oeming has no qualms with changing the lives of his character, killing them or even reshaping the entire world they inhabit at the drop of a hat and it keeps every issue just as fresh as the last. It’s a great formula, and one that works.

The Victories #5 CoverThis issue sees the Champions of Earth rounded up as the plague they are allegedly causing begins to spread across the planet. Despite the outlandish set up this premise was bone chilling to me. The people in retention camps, the delusion of some heroes thinking, “This will all be over any day now” it’s terrible stuff. And Oeming manages to make you forget the demographic he’s playing with here is a fictional one. You’re afraid for D.D Mau, hiding in her mom’s apartment as the government’s hunter robots go searching around for heroes wherever they can find them.

Speaking of D.D gets to shine here a bit. One simple panel where she decides to give up and die while taking a bite of a candy bar is brilliant. It should be funny, but learning that food has always been her crux and insecurity makes what could be a sight gag into a genius portrait of someone with no self-worth indulging in the thing they hate about themselves one last time just to inhabit that feeling of self-loathing entirely, just to get that fix. That’s good writing no matter the medium.

In the end were introduced (kind of) to a classic “new world order”-esque shady organization. The Post-human arc will continue the story and hopefully showcase the heroes banding together and fighting back in an all-out war. I’m pumped for the next phase of the book that always keeps me laughing, my adrenaline going and me on my toes. And you should be too.

Score: 5/5

Writer/Artist/Creator: Michael Avon Oeming

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Price: $3.99

Release Date: 9/4/13