Review: Faith #1

Everyone’s favourite plus-sized superhero Faith aka “Zephyr” now has her own ongoing comic series.  If you’re a regular visitor to the Valiant universe, you’ll know her from Harbinger Wars and her own mini-series from earlier this year.  To be honest, I didn’t personally read any of these and when I saw the premise (and cover) for this book I was left feeling, oh how do the intellectuals say it?  Kinda meh

But, what has happened to me with many other comics, happened here too, I rather liked it as I read on.  First of all, Jody Hauser, the writer of the superb sci-fi, sexy clone show Orphan Black makes her comic book debut.  Things are a little exposition heavy at the beginning, we hear a lot of Faith’s personal narrative, or in her case, her rather crazy geeky rantings and ravings (we can all relate).  After the turbulent years of Harbinger Wars, Faith is in a new city with a new name, Summer Smith, writer for the news website Zipline.  After all, every superhero needs an alter-ego but I do so wish writers could do a little better than “Smith” for the surname…

Faith-#1Anyway, Summer is trying to build her new life in L.A, playing D&D (or some variant thereof) and making new friends.  Of course, things are never this simple.  Those who know Summer’s true identity want her to be be more honest with her friends, and more significantly, our hero Faith might have found her archvillain nemesis.  I don’t wish to reveal too much but whilst flying home one night, Faith sees a man trying to break into a building and swoops in to stop him, using her telekinetic or “Psiot” powers to whisk him away to justice.  Except...he turns and fires an unusual weapon at her that breaks her concentration, disrupting her psychic grip on him.  Still, she manages to regain herself with an excellent Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy reference in how the secret to flying is to throw yourself at the ground and miss.  Love it.

The nerdy, geeky, pop-culture references abound in this book, at times it feels that Jody Hauser might be trying just a little too hard to establish Faith as a loveable, out-of place geek but generally still keeps things playful and fun.  Plus there’s a nice little development towards the end of the story, which really makes me want to pick up issue two.

As for the art, well it has that trademark Valiant style, which I really enjoy and again, like Bloodshot Reborn, I think is perfectly suited to the story being told here.  Andrew Dalhouse makes good use of dark and black tones to pick up the creases and shadows on the characters, when this is combined with detailed pencil work, the effect is really nice.  Though it should be said that this doesn’t happen too often.

This book is fun.  There’s almost a little something for everyone.  If superhero books aren't your thing, well, this isn’t a typical superhero book so you might still want to check it out anyway.  I went into Faith expecting to dislike it, but I didn’t at all, quite the opposite in fact.  It’s not as strong as some other Valiant titles, but despite its attempt at levity, it doesn’t compromise on action and flow.  Things are easy to follow and there’s enough going on to hold your interest, which is good because I was worried at the beginning that we could just have page after page of inner monologue and story preamble.  Faith is something a little bit different and a refreshing change from some of the overly-gritty work out there so get your geek on and give it a go.

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Faith #1
Writer: Jody Houser
Artist: Pere Pérez, Marguerite Sauvage & Colleen Doran
Colorist: Andrew Dalhouse
Publisher: Valiant Comics
Price: $3.99
Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital