A Big Win for “Faith #1” (Review)
Written by: Jody Houser
Art by: Francis Portela and Marguerite Sauvage
Colors by: Andrew Dalhouse
Having never read a title from Valiant, I didn’t know what to expect in quality. When I saw news of Faith, a title featuring an overweight and super-powered woman, I was immediately interested. My biggest fear for the title was that there may be some form of agenda pushing in girl power or body positivity. Instead what I discovered was an instantly endearing character and an incredibly fun comic.
Faith #1 follows the daily routine of Faith Herbert, a former member of a super group called the Renegades, as she begins her solo life in Los Angeles. On top of this, she is also dealing with breaking up with her boyfriend. None of this gets her down, though. She embraces the day as something new and exciting! As she travels to work, she fantasizes about how she’d like to be a tough-nosed journalist for her secret identity and famed superhero Zephyr whenever action is needed. Of course in this fantasy she’s also rescuing her favorite superhero actor, because Faith is also a giant comic book and geek culture fan. Her dreams of being a journalist are somewhat met with her job of being a list maker/blogger, similar to the posts you’ll see from BuzzFeed.
Once work is done though, Faith is off to fight crime! Well, after dishing about her new favorite show and getting some takeout. When the police scanner alerts her to criminal activity, Faith is out the door as Zephyr, ready to combat what arises. Of course her mind races with the possibility of what crime is taking place. Maybe even the hunky actor is the perpetrator! After a somewhat comedic action scene of heroism, Faith tries to get in a little more superhero action with the help of an informant nicknamed @x. He sends her on a missing-persons mission with an explosive cliffhanger ending.
Houser has crafted a fantastic story with a character I fell in love with immediately. Maybe it’s because she’s such a happy person. Maybe it’s that she loves comics. I’m just glad Houser was able to make a story and feature a character that I was able to identify with and embrace without being pushy about being a woman or some other trope. The art by Portela and Sauvage is also a welcome addition to the story. All of the character designs are nice and consistent. Dalhouse’s coloring makes their art shine. There’s a beautiful shot of Faith flying down a street at sunset that is absolutely gorgeous.
If you’re looking for a superhero title that branches away from the standards of DC and Marvel, I definitely suggest checking out Faith. It is only a four-part series, but perhaps with enough praise and sales from fans, we could see Faith extended into a regular monthly title. Also after reading Faith, I’ve become interested in trying to learn about some other parts of the Valiant universe and would like to see where Faith got her start in the Renegades. If you’re a fan of other solo-female superhero titles like Ms. Marvel or Spider-Gwen, this book should be relevant to your interests!