“…superheroine coming of age story worth reading.”
By Darryll B. Carter
Faith #1 serves as an introduction (or a reintroduction if you read Valiant’s Harbinger) to title character Faith Herbert aka Zephyr. The series will likely follow Faith and her exploits and battles while being on her own for the first time as a superhero. Writer, Jody Houser does a swift and immaculate job of bringing us in to Faith’s current situation, as well as leaving breadcrumbs to the prime focus of the series’ first story arc.
The story and dialogue are solid, doing a great job of capturing Faith’s positive personality and inner thoughts. It picks up with two fugitives fleeing from a yet unknown threat. These characters serve as McGuffins for Faith later on. The issue then quickly switches gears and dives in to Faith’s life. We see how she is dealing with moving to a new city, the remnant thoughts of her ex-boyfriend, working and most importantly; figuring out the ‘who, what and how’ of being a solo superhero. The story comes full circle at the end, leaving us with a cliffhanger that paints the picture of how Faith comes to be involved with the events of the issue’s opening.
It’s an interesting and light read all the way through, which meshes well with Faith’s character. However, that could be problematic for building the intensity you might expect (of a Harbinger Universe comic) in later issues. The laid back nature of the issue as a whole stifles what should be a climactic scene at its end; especially, when following a scene where she saves a bunch of puppies, from ‘puppynappers’ that sort of feels like filler. At the very least, the last scene leaves the impression of a higher level of intensity for issue #2.
The art style of Francis Portela is reminiscent of Harbinger, which does a great job of grounding it within the same world, but does a poor job of representing Faith in a flattering manner. Faith’s illustrations seem crude and more focused on capturing her weight than her beauty, which is what Faith Herbert has always been about at her core. Covers A and B by Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic and Marguerite Sauvage, respectively, do a perfect job of capturing that beauty. The daydreaming panels, also by Sauvage, are awesome and capture Faith’s mind in a visual way that reinforces the foundation of her character.
Faith #1 comes to the table with a pre-established history, that’s touched on briefly in this first issue and leaves room for the title character and her story to grow and follow its own path. Whatever that path may be, it will surely be a superheroine coming of age story worth reading.