Seraph’s Sanctions: FAITH #12

Writer: Jody Houser
Art: Joe Eisma
Colors: Andrew Dalhouse
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Publisher: VALIANT COMICS (June 2017)


The Breakdown:

Faith has been framed for murder and captured by The Faithless. Yet, as Faith tries to figure a way to get free, the Faithless start breaking down.

The Bad:

Honestly, this issue was very good but … it is the ending that kind of makes it fall apart. It wasn’t a bad ending point by any means. Yet, it is a status quo as an outlaw that doesn’t get resolved. And while I can definitely understand with Faith’s new miniseries and her part in Harbinger Renegades, there will be more. Yet, what if the reader who reads Faith doesn’t read those other books? Normally, I am ok with these kind of endings. But it just felt as if this was an end of a normal issue and not a series. Yes. It does end the Faithless storyline, but doesn’t really tie up things. It leaves a lot of things open ended. Yet, there is no guarantee there will be another Faith solo series. And with some many dangling plots , it hurts this series finale.

The Moment of the Issue:
I loved the moment Faith gets through to Murder Mouse.

The Good:

Eisma is wonderful as always with his art. The line work is simple yet detailed enough to give every background a look and feel of its own. It’s wonderful. It is great to see a collection of Faith’s rogues gallery together as a team with a pretty cool name and be as varied as they are. We have a crazy actor with delusions of grandeur, a washed up actress who is part alien, a soul eating cat that jumps from host to host and a man with mystical powers dressing up as an anthropomorphic mouse. Eisma takes all these elements and takes them in stride while making it look good. Valiant’s approach has always been a bit more serious in terms of enemies, but Faith taps into a more traditional superheroine and Eisma visually shows both how these interesting rogues that would belong in a traditional super hero universe are a bit more … out of place and crazier in the Valiant Universe. The panel work is solid and let’s readers get sucked on in with ease. The colors a muted, but follow the same overall color style that the series has always had, which works for the book. Dalhouse brings out a fullness in Eisma’s line work that makes the panels look and feel a bit more weighty and visually captivating.

Houser does a good job in setting up Faith and bringing good characterizations to all of the various villains that Faith has. This is definitely a moment that Faith has read up on before, but living it is different. I love how Faith, while being tied up, outsmarts each of her adversaries and plays on their insecurities. Houser uses this not only to help develop Faith as a hero, but also fleshes out each of her villains. Houser gives us a better scope of each characters’ motivations as well as highlight Faith’s intelligence. Houser makes it fun the entire time with witty banter and interesting character introspection …particular in turning over one of the villains to Faith’s side. Sort of. Houser does a great job humanizing our players here and it enriches Faith’s victory and each of the villains themselves. Houser keeps Faith having her charm and wit throughout the entire story, while still making the Faithless threatening. It’s bold and intimate while still having long reaching consequences.

The Verdict:

There are mixed emotions about this final issue. While it does end the conflict with the Faithless … for now, it left a lot of room for things to continue. My issue with that is that it leaves a bit too much open. ┬áThe Faithless have disappeared. Faith is still framed for murder. There is no clue as to where the Faithless went after the final battle broke out. The Faithless internal struggles and issues were coming to bare here but what really motivates all of them on this team. What does ________ change of heart mean and how did _____ get _________. (I am purposely not spoiling the issue.) Faith is kinda eating crow with her personal life but that is pretty much barely touched on at the end of this issue. Yet, I applaud the issue for still being a master class of characterization. There is so much more to each of the Faithless now and this issue really brought them out. Faith herself got some wonderful development proving that she is smarter and stronger than many people give her credit for and Houser does her justice. The art is superb from start to finish and Eisma definitely makes the book look and feel great. It is just that the end of this issue … and this volume of Faith stops and not really ends. And that hurts it. The book reads like there will be a next issue … save for Faith’s internal monologue in the last couple of pages. This could have feel well been a better ending if there was a bit more finality to it and left more questions than it felt comfortable with.