Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Review - Faith #1 (@ValiantComics)

"Remember, the team is counting on you! Don't let them down!"

The life of a superhero doesn't come easy. You're forced to contend with a secret identity, villains seeking your destruction and an ever-present sense of duty. There are some characters more willing to accept those responsibilities though and one of them is Faith in Faith #1 from Valiant Comics. The issue is written by Jody Houser, illustrated by Francis Portela (Fantasy Sequence art by Marguerite Savage), colored by Andrew Dalhouse and lettered by Dave Sharpe.

Orphaned at a young age, Faith Herbert – a psionically gifted “psiot” discovered by the Harbinger Foundation – has always aspired to greatness. But now this once ordinary teenager is taking control of her destiny and becoming the hard-hitting hero she’s always known she can be – complete with a mild-mannered secret identity, unsuspecting colleagues and a day job as a reporter that routinely throws into her harms way! Well, at least she thought it would… When she’s not typing up listicles about cat videos, Faith makes a secret transformation to patrol the night as the City of Angels’ own leading superhero – the sky-soaring Zephyr! But flying solo is going to be tougher than she ever thought when Zephyr uncovers a deep-rooted alien conspiracy. Two-bit burglars and car thieves are one thing, but when the world needs a hero to stave off a full-blown extraterrestrial invasion, will Faith find herself in over her head…or ready for her biggest challenge yet?

Faith is a superhero with a keen fondness for being one, relying on it to satisfy her every wish and desire about being one. Houser does an exceptional job of presenting the reader Faith and all her zeal in being both a superhero and a young woman looking to make her way in the world. It's old-hat at this point to present a superhero tale, but Houser does it with aplomb, successfully blending together all the elements of such a story without bludgeoning the reader with them. Where Houser puts a refreshing spin on things is through Faith's narrative style, which conveys her emotion being a hero as an enjoyable matter of fact. The dialogue makes Faith extremely likable and offers her up as a character that feels less like a superhero and more like an everyday person.

The artwork in Faith #1 is very clean and presents a superhero mentality in its approach. Portelta does a great job of rendering Faith as a "common" superhero, ensuring that her interactions with other characters don't feel inappropriate considering the tone of the book. Faith especially is rendered with an abundance of joy that matches her personality and approach to being a superhero. Savage's work in the fantasy sequence is a slight departure from the art in the rest of the book, but it still fits very well and even goes so far as further normalize Faith as a superhero. Dalhouse's colors add a nice finishing touch to the artwork, capturing Faith's blue and white costume against the orange skies of a sunset for instance.

Faith #1 is a fun book. Faith is a character who's been tapped as a superhero, yet she doesn't shy away from the duties that come along with it. Houser does a great job of showcasing Faith to the reader and informing them of all the important traits that make her who she is. Portela's artwork fits with the Valiant style very well and offers plenty of interactions amongst the characters in each panel. Faith #1 is an interesting look at the excitement one may find fighting as a superhero.

Faith #1 is in stores January 27.


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