Comic Review: The Victories #2
”In issue #2, Oeming gives us more background on the city where Faustus operates, and introduces his supporting cast.”
The first issue of any comic is usually devoted to showing the main character in their element. Seeing this should entice the reader into following along the next month. Here in issue #2 we get more background on the main character, Faustus includes his origins. In a flashback we see Faustus training under former hero and fighting legend “The Mark.” Faustus and his cohort stood out and are offered special training, presumably this training gave him his glowing, iron fist like powers. Though Faustus’ started out righteous, he’s in a decidedly more grey area in his career now. He’s part of the Victories but still takes on violent solo missions.
Considering the cities’ draconian security measures, Faustus might be the most appropriate hero for the place. Flying camera drones and chipped ID’s track the citizen’s moves. The only way to move with impunity is to go above them. Faustus’ is something of a cavalier pragmatist. He never stops to question whether what he’s doing is right, or just violent. Drinking on the job appears not to phase him either. Though he saves a family from a break-in and armed robbery, his tactics are so bloody and heavy-handed he doesn’t come off as a heroic vigilante so much as a masked psychopath. Sure, the family is safe after he intercedes, but then he leaves them with several goons lying bleeding out on the carpet from severed hands and limbs.
“Considering the cities’ draconian security measures, Faustus might be the most appropriate hero for the place.”
The world setting is like that of Oeming’s other hit book Powers. Some crooks are just violent hoods, some have powers that keep them from functioning in real society. Link, named for the psychic nature of his ability, finds himself coerced by greed and violence into complying with criminal activity. Being the two powered people, it’s him and Faustus’ who end up face to face. Though Link is fighting for his life, simple grazing contact gives him insight into Faustus’ true nature. Even dangling fifty stories up, Link apologies to Faustus’ for the awful things he’s experienced from his mind. A single frame of a glowing man is all we see, leaving us to speculate that perhaps he had to kill his master to gain his powers. At first, Faustus doesn’t seem phased, but by the end of the issue knows something is terribly wrong. Maybe in having his memories copied, it pulled up some seriously repressed issues. This shaking of his foundation, combined with Link giving away his secrets to the Jackal (the enemy put away last issue who has vowed to destroy Faustus) are setting up the pieces for his downfall.
The Victories were a great addition to issue #2. With the series named after the team, but focusing on Faustus specifically, I was curious to see what role they would play in supporting each other. The team itself is akin to the Mystery Men. Each of them is unique with an ability and they come together to stop criminal threats. They are primarily a street level team. In this city a drug which causes levitation, apathy, and mutated growth of the body (aptly named Float) is causing the most problems for the populace. There are always those who will try to profit from human suffering. Though the team might not all be angels (Faustus’ is violent, Sleeper is dull, Mau is an adrenaline junky) they do work towards the common good.
The last page of the book shows us that the only thing that kept Jackal behind bars was having no motivation to leave. With what he now knows about Faustus’, he is after him and out for blood. How far is Faustus willing to go to defend the city? How about his own life?
Geek Smash rating: 72/100