Right now I feel like Kevin Costner in Waterworld. My ear lung labia grows quite weary from drinking in the constant and unchanging sea of super hero pastiches around me. Everywhere I look someone is doing their JL, their Bats, their Supes. Some are very good, most aren’t bad, but the originality train is wearing down fast with each book having to up the ante on their creation until the lines of superherodom are non-existent.
VICTORIES could quite easily fall into this trap, but doesn’t. It’s the Mt. Everest of my Waterworld in fact. MAO (whose monogrammed towels have my deepest sympathy), elevated this book with a layer caking of laser focused characterization and a plausible social “Armageddon.”
Oeming’s distinct artistic style is going to make everyone immediately whine POWERS clone. To which I say reading is fundamental, true in the 80s and true today. MAO is not as snarky as Bendis, he’s a might bit dirtier and embraces the narrator box a bit more. Also, aside from superheroes THE STORIES ARE NOTHING ALIKE. POWERS is a cop drama, this is a damaged Justice League with way cooler powers. A villain that makes you horny or drunk, a hero who literally believes he’s the voice of God, Meteron the VICTORIES leader and finally our protagonist this issue DD Mau.
DD is an emotionally damaged mess and I couldn’t lover her more. Her powers of rapidly gaining mass and then needing to expel it in large quantities of inordinate speed and strength is a power set with definitive danger it’s also the ultimate tale f body dysmorphia. Ask any ex fat kid (raises hand) and they’ll tell you when they look in the mirror the first things they see are those attributes that were tongue lashed into our subconscious by douche bags in gym class. DD gets to literally see that every morning after a good night’s sleep. During her thin and hot moments, she lashes back in that same ex fat kid way of an almost sociopathic disregard for abuse of self and partners (raises hand). DD uses the world to compensate parental and child abuse in such stark realism I almost want to ask MAO if he wants to start a support group together.
Oh, and she also kicks ass and quips like a sailor.
That’s just one character in a team of six. Personally I would have bought the book on DD alone. As an added bonus (read that as a second story), we get to see a societal shake-up akin to what’s kept us reading THE WALKING DEAD for so long. No, not fucking zombies. I hate zombies. I’m talking the exploration of humanity once societal conveniences are gone and the perks of consumerism utterly spent. In the world of VICTORIES we have sucked the world dry of energy. The entire world is living and dying as Jimmy Buffet would say in ¾ time. Fear not though, there are rays of hope trying to permeate dystopia and they come from the most clever of places. I’ve been waiting for another book that casts aside the rules of society and I love the fact MAO was able to make it plausible with capes.
VICTORIES was the kind of mildly dirty main stream imbibing that has kept Dark Horse on my radar for twenty plus years. I’ll admit I don’t consistently always have a Dark Horse title on my pull list, but when I do they stay with me for life. VICTORIES welcome to the Optimous’ Gray Matter Playhouse, pull up a lobe and stay awhile.