The Victories: Touched Vol. 1 Review

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The Victories: Touched Vol. 1
Michael Avon Oeming
Dark Horse Comics
June 25, 2013

All right, so, I actually liked the Victories. When I picked up the ARC for the first volume compilation I figured I would read through it. I like comic books and I like super hero stories. Particularly new stories that don’t stick to just the classic characters we see all the time. I figured the Victories seemed like a pretty nice middle ground between titles like Invincible and the Watchmen. It looked solidly between those two in style and content. And for the most part I think I was right about that.

But I’ve been reading up on the series online and it seems to have gotten pretty lukewarm reviews. Even some bad ones. But mostly pretty neutral ones.

I can’t say that my review here is necessarily going to be stunning. I just don’t think that the problems most people identify in the book really matter. A big complaint tends to be the cheesy, over the top dialogue. Who cares? It’s comic books. If you’re not used to cheesy, over the top dialogue at this point then what are you doing reading comics any more?

Okay, so, it’s a pretty solid title all things considered.

It follows the exploits of a group of superheroes called ‘The Victories.’ Though, for the most part so far, it’s been about a particular hero named Faustus. He was originally just a kid who was learning self defense and martial arts from a retired old hero. But he recruited Faustus and a friend and started teaching them to be real heroes. But it isn’t all that it’s cut out to be and Faustus finds himself wracked with all kinds of personal demons. Throw in a psychic villain teamed up with a real bad guy and his past is coming back to haunt him. Literally. He starts to relive everything and it’s not easy for him.

I like Faustus. He’s sort of an everyman kind of character. The sort that seems to know what he can do and what he should do but fails at it sometimes. He knows his character and goes around taunting villains with witty little quips that would make Spider-Man proud. Except Spider-Man’s villains usually don’t rip judges’ heads off in front of their wives. And Spidey isn’t making snide comments in front of a man’s widow. He knows he was callous, he knows he was staying in character. And that actually does bother him. I like that.

What I really appreciate about Faustus is that he’s black. We don’t have nearly enough heroes of color. Within the Victories there are at least four members of color. I say ‘at least’ because the Sleeper has an Invisible Man thing going for him and wears bandages around his head to obscure his face. So he could reasonably be of color as well.

The main villains – the Jackal and Link – are okay. Pretty standard fair. Nothing too unique or memorable in my opinion.

I don’t know. I’m as mixed on my review of this series as anyone else. I like it. I liked Faustus. I don’t know how well I’ll like the other volumes in the series but we’ll see how it goes. I’m definitely in for the next one. If that one is as ‘meh’ as this one, though? I might call it quits then. I don’t know if you guys get a chance to pick up the TPB that is coming out next month tell me what you think. You can probably find the individual issues in comic stores.

I just don’t know. I’d love to hear other peoples opinions.

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