Faith #1 (Valiant)

Faith 1.indd

CREDIT: Valiant

Rating: 3.5/5 – A Fan-Favorite Soars Into Her Own Mini-Series
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Adam Alamo

One of the things that I believe Valiant does well as a comic company is release only 8 or 9 titles a month. This lets the budget-conscious fan enjoy the entire, shared universe, while Valiant gradually and methodically builds that universe. A couple of these monthly releases are typically reserved for Valiant to showcase new concepts and events, allowing the company to experiment with ideas and rotate its growing cast of characters. The mmost recent new series is the much anticipated and publicized mini-series that focuses on fan-favorite Faith Herbert. Although much of the press has been fixated on Faith’s weight, long time fans know her as the optimistic, good-natured, pop-culture loving heart of Valiant’s superhero universe. I count myself as one of those fans that really dig this character and I’ve been very much looking forward to her turn in the spotlight.

Valiant newcomer Jody Houser takes the reins from long time Faith writer Joshua Dysart to document this solo adventure. She spins a tale that is new reader friendly, bringing us up to speed on everything that has hitherto happened to this heroine, while setting up Faith’s new status quo. Although in many ways Faith is an atypical hero, the set-up is very much grounded in classic superhero lore, right down to her secret identity. Faith is a comic fan herself, so it makes sense that she’s having a bit of fun with her superhero persona. For long time Valiant fans, there are many continued plot points and guest stars to make this mini-series fit squarely into the tight fitting continuity they love. That being said, I thought the plot was somewhat lackluster and a lot of the charm and heart that Dysart was able to infuse into Faith was missing. It could just be me subconsciously playing the comparison game, but I didn’t think that Houser handled the character as deftly as Dysart. Still, it’s just the first part of a 4-issue mini-series and it did include a lot of set-up, so I’m willing to admit that it was likely just a case of my anticipation and expectations getting the better of me.

If Valiant has anything close to an art “house style,” then Francis Portela’s art is a great example – clean lines, standard paneling, and plenty of medium shots. He draws a couple of stand out panels, but the art remains otherwise standard fare. Marguerite Sauvage provides a couple pages of “fantasy art” (when Faith daydreams about her heroics) that are different, but fit almost seamlessly with Portela’s art. I really enjoy her style and I think she could have done a fantastic job penciling the entire series. I hope we get to see more of her art as Faith continues to daydream. She’s been drawing some beautiful covers for Valiant and other comic companies lately and I’m quickly becoming a big fan.

This first issue of Faith is a solid reintroduction to the character and a good jumping on point for anyone who is curious about the buzz surrounding this character. As a longtime fan, I’m happy to see Faith brought to the forefront, even as I know there is much more to her than this single issue lets on. I’m looking forward to seeing where Houser takes the story and how she develops the character. As much as I know and love Faith, there is much more to be explored and I cannot wait to see what’s to come.

Reviewed by: Adam Alamo
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