Creator/s: Christopher Villanueva
Run: 1/10-current
Schedule: M/W/F
Section/s: Ch. 6

Website: Readers will immediately notice that this website looks very shiny and bold, and it's a nice touch. This positive impression quickly fades, though, if they scroll down to below the comic, where they're confronted with a horrible mess of buttons, banners, and links.

The coolest thing about Victory's website is that it actually has its own introduction video on YouTube. This video isn't well-promoted, though, and if I weren't deliberately reviewing the website, I probably wouldn't have noticed it. This is one reason why having a million "vote for me" banners on your site isn't a practical idea. Ironically, I expect mostly only regular readers find this video even though they aren't its intended audience.

The extra features are pretty good, with a fan-art page, a page showing Victory's powers, a blog, and a Comic Genesis subforum. I dislike how some of the buttons have words split into two lines, which look like "Sum Mary" and "Arc Hive," but the summary page can be merged with the archive page, and the archive button can be placed by the page-navigation buttons. And the page title at the top (the part that goes in-between the < title > tags) should be capitalized consistently.

Lastly, the creator's been extremely consistent with his updates, which is a huge boon to the webcomic's ability to keep its readers interested.

Writing: When it comes to spelling and grammar, I usually just add a minor note at the end of the "writing" section, but with Victory... oh, man. I don't mean to be overly harsh about it, as I get that English probably isn't the creator's first language and all that, but if I were a casual reader, there's no way I would put up with struggling to get through the mangled dialogue. The writing in this webcomic is like something I'd expect to see in a low-budget Nintendo video game from the '80s. Here are some of the highlights from chapter 6:

"Maybe I'll go back tonthe meeting. I'll pretend to be interested make sure Bloodwing isn't planning anything, if he is."

"Victory is also immune to a forms of disease." "So... he can't get AIDS or have or have cancer?"

"So Victory decided to lift the cruise ship and set it on a near by deserted island and repaired the ship and set the ship back in the ocean."

"I don't know hat's Bloodwing giving Victory AIDS or how Bloodwing gave Victory AIDS."

"Your welcome. Thank you. Your pretty neat, too!"

The comic also does a poor job of separating sentences. I'm used to seeing the technique where a writer uses ellipses to separate parts of a sentence into multiple speech bubbles for dramatic effect, but Victory tries to do this without using ellipses, and the result is always confusion. I found myself on several occasions rereading bits of dialogue, eventually realizing that they're supposed to be treated as one coherent sentence.

The creator simply needs to put more effort into getting the English right. No matter how brilliant the writing really is, readers just aren't going to see past the terrible English.

That said, as for the writing on a conceptual level, I think the idea for this whole chapter is a total mistake. The concept of a super-strong guy who flies around saving people might have been fascinating to readers 80 years ago, but in 2012? No way. Even that Superman movie remake from a few years ago was boring as hell, and that was a high-budget production with special effects, romance, and Kevin Spacey playing Lex Luthor. An entire chapter of the supervillains sitting around in a dark room commenting on how "interesting" Victory's bland powers are doesn't cut it. And okay: They decide to try to inject Victory with a disease, and to overwhelm him by committing multiple crimes simultaneously. These aren't complex ideas, and could be taken care of with just a couple pages, leaving the rest of the chapter for stuff the reader might actually care about. I also imagine this overview of Victory's abilities would be painfully redundant to a reader who had already been following Victory's exploits for the first five chapters.

Lastly, look how many characters are identified on this page (which is over 1,100 pixels wide, by the way). It's very overwhelming to a reader to have a virtual horde of minor characters suddenly thrown at them. This kind of thing is probably better suited for a "cast page" extra. And why does Victory need to have so many supervillains? I can think of only five supervillains for Spider-Man, and only nine for Batman, and these superheroes have been around since forever ago, while Victory is only on its sixth chapter.

Art: For a webcomic that updates three times a week, the artwork's pretty impressive. The characters always seem well-rendered, even in action poses, and the coloring's vibrant and dramatic. The creator's also clearly capable of handling a variety of perspectives and body types, although he seems to have issues drawing women's necks. (For example, check out the pale-skinned woman on this page.)

As for Victory's design, he's not as muscular as you'd expect a superhero to be, and at first this makes him come across as more of an "average Joe." But as Victory's physical prowess is explained more as being as far from average as possible, his humble appearance ends up looking more silly than anything. This kind of look would work okay in a superhero parody, but it's not so great when the story's trying to be serious.

Overall: I reviewed Battle Pope, a superhero comic, a few years ago, and I wrote that even though the writing's lousy, the comic's still kind of entertaining because the artwork's so gorgeous. Victory's artwork is respectable, but it's obviously nowhere close to the level of Tony Moore's artwork. Fans of superhero comics are overwhelmed with the amount of professional-quality work they have access to, and unfortunately for webcomics like Victory, this raises the expectations for superhero webcomics higher than they would be for other webcomics. While I might consider a different kind of webcomic with terrible writing and decent artwork to be merely underwhelming, I feel like Victory completely collapses under the weight of its oversaturated genre.


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