Written by Jody Houser
Art by Pere Perez, Marguerite Sauvage, Colleen Doran, Andrew Dalhouse, & Dave Sharpe
Published by Valiant Comics
Release Date: July 20, 2016
The sky’s the limit!
Faith is doing her best to maintain her life and her secret when she comes across a criminal who challenges her and her powers. At work, things feel topsy turvy, especially when Faith is asked to write a column about, well, her. After the whirlwind of developments, she’s invited to spend time with a big crush while reaching a point of contention with Archer, though what she ends of seeing catches her by surprise.
One of the major words I can use to describe this issue: different. The inaugural issue of Faith’s ongoing feels incredibly different from the mini-series and in a way that makes me curious about what’s ahead. Instead of capturing a story within a very brief number of issues, these plot elements have the capacity to affect the story in the future. I liked the inclusion of the characters, their motivations, and their feelings, and I hope this continues Faith’s epic as she works to uncover what it’s like to be a Psiot and an everyday person.
After the miniseries, Jody Houser’s writing seemed almost like a slight departure in Faith #1. Faith is considering a new costume at the behest of Jay, her boss is being nice to her, and her crush as struck her with a tranquilizer dart. While at first these developments felt odd, I also recognize that Houser has a plan in mind with all these thematically striking elements. The changes in characterization mean that the sky may be the limit for Faith, and with a longer timespan for a story more of these threads will develop into grand pieces of a story.
My favorite part of Houser’s story is the initial scene, in which Faith must balance her desire for kinship with her desire to keep people safe. In a true act and display of compassion, she expresses anger that her secret might slip, especially after Jay discusses his continued fear after nearly losing his life.
The ‘I must keep my secret to protect others’ trope is so often cliché and tired, but her it seems genuine not only in Houser’s writing but Faith as a character. I appreciated this addition because I see Faith as someone who truly does care for the well-being of others, so this moment was believable, moreso than in other cape comics.
Pere Perez as the artist for the main portion of the series portrays an adventurous style in the wake of this new ongoing. It seems as though there’s much more experimentation with characters and their appearances, from body type and shape to movement. Perez conveys the constant maintenance Faith must use to keep her life in order, evident in her and others’ responses to the circumstances around them. In an almost comical sense, I like that Perez gets the whimsy of Faith and her inner monologue and mixes it with dire straits.
Colleen Doran’s work in the origin scenes add a context to Faith’s history, but they aren’t entirely descriptive. I like this effect because it mirrors the vague images when we recall memory. Doran has awesome lines and action, but there are few moments where there’s complete clarity, which I feel enhances the effect of these pages recalling our heroine’s past.
To add another level of depth and personality in art, Marguerite Sauvage creates scenes that feel light and airy, even when someone’s wings are clipped. Like with Perez, I think the softness of these images is a nice touch because they address the ideal of fantasy and dreams, even when the scenarios have more gravity and weight.
The art in Faith #1 as a whole contributes to the feel of the story because they represent Faith as a multifaceted character. She has a past, she has a story, and she has dreams, and each member of the art team drives this symbolism home.
After the roller-coaster of the Faith miniseries, this issue delivers by connecting to those threads while embarking on a new and different journey for the character. This first chapter of Faith’s new story was exciting and distinct from what came before, pulling in many different elements of her publication history. I recommend this issue because it challenges readers to think of what comes next while never discounting the charm of the series and the character as a whole.
The Verdict: 8.5/10