All stories must come to an end, but the joy of comic books, the serialized story in general, is that our heroes never die. Or you write some comics about heroes that are creator owned and off them whenever you like! Michael Oeming concludes his first story arc this week, is it good?
Michael Avon Oeming’s The Victories #5 (Dark Horse Comics)
Check out our review of The Victories #4 here!
D.D. Mau has been the beating heart of this first arc. As we’ve grown to know and feel for this character, the story has really put our heroic team in a troubling place. Last issue, a virus supposedly spreading from heroes is infecting people. Metatron has realized his true purpose that is tied to an underground New World Order-type group and a war is brewing.
Oeming intercuts the actions of the issue, namely the government migrating heroes to internment camps, with Mau who is slowly dropping into a dark place mentally. She’s killed her mother, at least she thinks she did, with the virus, and now just wants to curl up and die. Literally. Oeming uses this incredibly personal and emotional storyline quite well to balance out the Victories attempting to fight from being imprisoned.
A new hero — or is he a villain? — is also introduced named Robocalypse who helps the Victories fight the government. He’s a huge robot dude with one hand that shoots lasers from the fingertips and another made of some kind of cyborg/flesh fingers with each digit being humanoid from torso up. If that sounds nuts, just wait till you see it. I’ve never seen a character with such a wild look and damn is it cool.
Much of this issue only consists of this one action sequence and Mau falling into a deep depression. The last four pages focus on setting up the next issue and arc, but it’s done in an efficient and natural way. There are so many cases where an issue wastes the last few pages to set up the next issue but does it in a lazy or haphazard way. Not so here though, as it’s just as dramatic and important to the narrative as the pages before it.
The art continues to excel as well, particularly with Mau’s scenes. Oeming uses many different techniques to convey her depression which, let’s be honest, is an incredibly hard thing to make look interesting in a comic book. Just take a moment and think how you’d draw depression. Tears, right? Well that’s not enough! Oeming gives us a clinic on melencholy.
- Good balance of action and character moments
- Oeming is setting up one hell of a second arc
- As far as story’s end, not a lot of ending here. It’s more about a new beginning.
In a lot of ways this issue reads like issue #0 to a new series. Instead of anything concluding, things are merely transitioning. That might piss some folks off, but when there’s so much good stuff to anticipate how could you be mad? Oeming is setting up what might be a much more powerful story than these first five issues, which is saying a lot when you consider how many series pull out their strongest punches in the first arc.
Is It Good?
Yes. In a lot of ways this concluding chapter validates all that came before it. I want to go back and read it all over now!