Spinning out of the recent 4-issue mini-series, Faith stars in her very own monthly ongoing series! Just how many Star Wars references can we look forward to per issue?
Faith #1 begins with a brief origin story for our heroine featuring Colleen Doran, the first of three artists working on this issue. This sequence is a reasonable endeavor at fitting four years of character history into three pages, a nice refresher for long-time fans, and a decent crash course for those just wanting to check out a new book with a strong female lead.
The art is suitably surreal and ambiguous for what amounts to a montage of panels representing overarching story concepts rather than specific past scenes in their entirety. Anyone who has listened to Grant Gustin catch the audience up to speed at the beginning of an episode of The Flash will know what to expect from these first three pages.
After the retrospective, we see a segment occurring in and out of Faith’s imagination as she participates in a game night with her friends. A game of “Mythos & Mayhem” serves to establish the current state of affairs between Faith, her friends, and her co-workers. This section maintains some of the surreal nature of the first. For example, there are panels where Faith imagines fighting a giant troll. The panels also mix in the mundane with Faith’s alter-ego Summer sitting at the dungeon master’s table with pizza boxes and soda cans surrounding it.
As we move into the meat of the book, the artwork is detailed without being overly realistic and is particularly well-suited to animating character’s facial expressions. The art style fits the tone of the book, and is engaging despite being handled by three artists. Many times when an issue’s art has too many hands involved, it can come across very jarring when the artists’ styles don’t mesh well together. This is not the case with Colleen Doran, Marguerite Sauvage, and Pere Perez. Some of this might be due to consistent coloring on the part of Andrew Dalhouse, whose brighter palette is a fantastically appropriate compliment to the other artist’s styles as well as the mood of the book.
It is also worth noting that how Dalhouse conveys the lighting in a given setting is impeccable. If you need an example of this look at the change in hue as Faith steps outside into the dark near the beginning of the book. The artwork in Faith #1 is one of many very good reasons to check this book out.
After penning the successful Faith mini-series, Jody Houser returns to the ongoing title to give us even more wacky hijinks and (hopefully) more puppynappers to be stopped. Houser’s take on the character is incredible, to say the least. She is giving us a few firsts for the modern Valiant Universe, first female lead (unless you count Livewire in Unity, but as far as I’m concerned that is a team book), first vigilante character, and first character with a real alter-ego. It makes for an interesting story that parallels more traditional superhero comics while never playing it completely safe. Other than some shoehorned “nerd culture” references to things like Star Wars (which admittedly do fit the character), the humor hits a sweet spot that is never overbearing nor underwhelming. Fans of the original mini-series will get a real kick out of the last few pages, and especially the twist ending that I should’ve, but didn’t, see coming.
Faith #1 is a book full of heart and hope. Sentiments the reader should hold for the series going forward. This is a worthy addition to the Valiant pantheon, as their lineup continues to become increasingly diversified.
- Great parallel to traditional superhero comics
- Consistent and exciting art
- Adds diversity to the Valiant lineup
- Shoehorned “nerd culture” references