Written by Jody Houser
Art by Pere Perez, Andrew Dalhouse, Marguerite Sauvage & Dave Sharpe
Published by Valiant Comics
Release Date: October 19, 2016
Holy mystical doppleganger, Faith!
Quite literally face to face (or should I say Faith to Faith?) with herself, Faith has to get down to the bottom of her spitting image while taking down a criminal unleashing chaos on the con. Connecting with herself makes her adventure more bright, even when they see numerous copies of their momentary antagonist. In a moment of self-sacrifice, they end the threat and the convention with a bittersweet but restful trek home.
Faith #4 captures the zeal of life and thrill of joy in someone who works through a wide range of emotions and maintains her sense of mirth, which doesn’t diminish even in the darkest of moments. This lighthearted story takes on typical tropes in a setting which is parts fantastical, emphasis on fan, and realistic. The con setting is interesting because it creates a strange, real-life parallel to heroism through cosplay.
Jody Houser’s writing intersperses Faith’s nerdy demeanor with the main story, infusing comedic moments that fit the character’s personality even as she solves a crime. My favorite parts of the issue were Faith’s interaction with herself. These come to a head in the fantasy sequences, outlined by the very real understanding that having someone just like yourself around can be entertaining and affirming, even if dating might get a little weird. I think these scenes display Houser’s talent for drawing on characters and expressing their important distinctions, even when the people are exactly the same. I also love the con tips, which would certainly have been helpful during my first trips to conventions.
Pere Perez’ exudes refined skill and style on art. The visuals are impeccable in shape, size, expression, and perspective. Each character, even those in the background, are rendered with wonderful detail and diversity in presentation. Reading this issue is like nerdy Where’s Waldo, and that level of deliberation gives even the smallest imagery in Faith #4 an enjoyable significance.
Color is fresh with Andrew Dalhouse at work, endowing this issue with a modern sheen. The hues are bright and lively, and even the neutral colors create awesome effects. My favorite part of Dalhouse’s work is the color-congruent outline throughout the issue. Because of this type of detail, the characters pop from their environment and make images more evocative than the standard black outline.
As always, Marguerite Sauvage breaks the story with entertaining fantasy sequences. The softness in Sauvage’s work helps to distinguish Faith’s inner world from her outer experiences. What stood out in these pages were the dynamic posing and angles within each panel. These artistic elements conveyed a vital sense of cheer that touched on the narrative purpose of the scenes. The lightness illustrated through Sauvage’s skill reflects the important dynamics of Faith’s personality as a person and as a hero.
Faith is a perfectly executed comic with an awesome protagonist who exemplifies the best parts of being a hero. The young take on superheroism doesn’t betray larger emotional conflicts and touches on what life would be like for an emerging adult with superpowers. I can see myself in Faith and her love of all things nerdy, which helps to make her much more real in this issue. The art is polished and the story has more than enough personality to humor and intrigue. Pick up this issue (and all the ones before… and after).
The Verdict: 10/10