Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Review - Harbinger: Faith #0


"Los Angeles is beautiful. And everyone is so cool to us, but it's really strange being famous here in the land of fame."

That moment when you get special powers is a pretty powerful moment. How you react to that moment and in the future will define you. You can fight evil with it or commit evil with it. In whichever scenario, there's a very real possibility that new doors will open up for you. Doors like those for Faith in Harbinger: Faith #0 from Valiant Entertainment. The issue is written by Joshua Dysart, illustrated by Robert Gill, colored by Jose Villarrubia and lettered by Dave Sharpe.

Faith's living the life as a newly minted superhero, capitalizing on her newfound ability to fly. She's looking for self-fulfillment, even if it means spending time with her boyfriend Torque. After her insane adventure in Mexico City, Faith Hebert is feeling a little frustrated with the direction of her life. She’s just a normal super-powered young woman in an increasingly crazy world. Here’s the story of a true innocent and a kind heart in a hard world. From the comic shop of her youth to the moment she found out that she was actually light as feather, Zephyr is the western wind. Warm and kind, she blows across us all.

Faith isn't exactly a new character to the Valiant Universe, but it is nice to get some backstory to her. Dysart characterizes her as someone coming to grips with a newfound popularity that one's not typically accustomed to. And having her retell her story via a series of tweets is pretty savvy as well, tapping into a millenial mentality that brings with it a slew of preconceived notions about her character. Those notions work and act as a reminder that Faith is both somewhat naive when it comes to being a superhero and an adult honestly. And for a one-shot, Dysart manages to cover a lot of ground and make it feel denser in story than it probably should.

Gill's illustrations maintain the Valiant style and present the characters in a way that's vibrant. Faith is a very happy-go-lucky individual who coasts through life to some extent and Gill's portrayal of that voyage is spectacular. Despite the vibrant colors, there's something of a pale finish on the work that downplays the whirlwind relationship between Faith and Torque. Gill relies on a variety of panel designs to keep things feeling frenetic, including a wide variety of panel overlays and insets. The depiction of the tweets as dialogue boxes is also pretty effective and helps keep the book feeling like its relevant in the present.

Harbinger: Faith #0 is a solid one-shot that gives an origin to one of the more endearing characters in the Harbinger universe. Faith is presented in a way that offers a requisite amount of awe for her new responsibility and powers. Dysart's plot is very straightforward and gets the reader from point A to point B; albeit a little hurried, but it is a one-shot. Gill's illustrations are a great fit for the story and make the book feel like a welcome addition to the Valiant Universe. Harbinger: Faith #0 is a fun one-shot that fans of Harbinger will definitely want to check out if they want to know more about Faith.

Harbinger: Faith #0 is in stores now.

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