November 14, 2012

Dark Horse Reviews: The Victories #4

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Written by: Billy
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The Victories #4
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Michael Oeming
Artist: Michael Oeming
Colors: Nick Filardi

There is a point in most students’ lives, when they think they know more than the master. Not realizing that it took the master a lot longer to become a “master” than one would initially think. In this latest issue of The Victories, Faustus finds out that he is still the student. He throws caution to the wind, and attacks The Mark at his school while another batch of students are still there. Faustus gives it his best shot, but The Mark is too good, and the mental strain from the painful feelings of his time at the school cause him to lose his edge. That or the alcohol, and the fact that the students eventually join the fight and help pound the living crap out of him. Beaten, broken, and bewildered, Faustus is thrown in jail, and it doesn’t take long for the Jackal to come calling! Meanwhile, Sai and Sleeper leave a team meeting with plans for confronting The Mark about the beat down on Faustus. Little do they know, that an assassin is lurking in the shadows, and has bad intentions for one of them!

This series is unbelievable! When you go back and check out the first issue and think that you knew what was going to happen, and then read issue #4, you’ve got to be blown away by the twists and turns. That being said, the most powerful element of this story is the depth of the main character, Faustus. Oeming really understands how to portray a tortured soul with good intentions, but not always the best methods of getting results. Maybe some first hand knowledge on the part of the writer? Either way, you’re getting another solid issue that adds more depth to a story that is turning into something special.

The artwork by Oeming is another great selling point for this comic. It’s dark and gritty, and pulls you under into a seedy, futuristic time when the government has all but absolute control, but there are still enough cracks for the cockroaches to hide in. The colors by Filardi are spot on, and he really adds something special to the book from that angle. Faustus is especially awesome, though, but it wouldn’t be fair to not talk about the great scenes with Sai and Sleeper. Those two characters look awesome as well, and the mummy look on Sleeper is funny and kind of creepy at the same time. Sai is reminiscent of Raiden in Mortal Combat, so that’s an interesting look, too.

Again, another issue that exceeds expectations, and reminds us that there still are some great books out there. Sometimes you just have to look a little bit harder or go out on a limb/out of your comfort zone to find them. Incidentally, this is a mature read, lest anyone think it’s for the young. Some obscenities, and nudity, but all done with taste and in the proper context. Rating 4.5/5

Billy Dunleavy



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