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October 19, 2012

Dark Horse Reviews: The Victories #3

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Written by: Billy
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The Victories #3
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Michael Oeming
Artist: Michael Oeming
Colors: Nick Filardi

The man called Faustus has sharp fighting skills. His tongue is quite sharp as well, but in this issue, we see that in the end, he’s human. He’s also harboring a secret from his allies, and it’s one that he doesn’t want anyone to know about. Speaking of his allies, Sai asks him to help find his brother, but when they talk about it, Faustus looks as though he’s about to have a heart attack, and leaves abruptly. Faustus then retreats to his home, where he tries to meditate and use the techniques he was taught while at the school known as “The Mark.” That isn’t cutting it, though, so he turns to alcohol to try and ease the pain. He begins a descent into his own tortured mind/soul, and heads out to find Sai’s brother to try and clear his head. What he finds out about his former best friend and fellow student at The Mark, ends up being a reminder of past sins that continue to haunt him even today.

This book just totally took a huge turn from where it was. Yes, sometimes that can be a very bad thing, but in this story it’s fantastic. It’s easy to get lost in books that have super powered heroes or monsters, and forget that ultimately, they’re still human. This issue humanizes Faustus, and also brings us one step closer to finding out about all of his inner demons. The rest of the cast had some really good face-time, and hopefully that will happen again in future issues. One can’t help but wonder what secrets Faustus is hiding from the people he calls his friends. On another front, his nemesis, The Jackal, has busted out of prison and now has a sidekick. The sidekick is Link, from the robbery that Faustus broke up last issue. After overhearing that Link has the power to steal someone’s thoughts just by touching them, Faustus is terrified about this secret he’s been hiding from everyone. This is another great angle that Oeming is forcing readers to think about, and that’s the charm of this book ultimately.

From an artistic standpoint, what else can be said other than wow! This book really has a dark tone that fits the characters, and the overall mood of the book. This cover in particular is pretty sick, too, and the colors added by Filardi are spot on. He uses a blood red color to really make those panels stand out. Very nice contrast, especially on those pages. Either grab these issues or snatch up the trade when it comes out (presumably), because this book is hitting it out of the park! Rating 4.5/5

Billy Dunleavy
billy@comicattack.net

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