There’s a lot of wonderful darkness in the Valiant Universe. A lot of bloody violence, angry heroes, and bitter loners. And it’s easy to love all these characters for their grim ‘n’ gritty style of action. But it is even easier to love Faith, the one character who is the polar opposition of all of that.
Faith is a superhero, and she loves being a superhero. It’s everything she ever wanted. Despite all its trials and tribulations, she gleefully embraces what it means to be super. She’s just like many of us—pop culture obsessed, driven by dreams, and impassioned to do the right thing. She’s funny, quirky, and constantly smiling. In Faith #1, all of this and more is on display. This is a comic you read with a grin from ear to ear. That is not something you can say about many superhero comics these days.
Written by soon-to-be-a-superstar Jody Houser, Faith is downright refreshing. It takes the tried and true superhero formula (secret identity, grinding day job, nights spent as a vigilante) and cranks them to 11. As a character, Faith is recreating the life she thinks a superhero should have. She’s living out the comic book formula intentionally, as she’s as much a fan of superheroes as you and me. Most importantly, perhaps, is that she does it with confidence. A lesser comic would be filled with “woe as me” monologues and struggles to be noticed. Faith is a comic about saying “hell yeah,” kicking puppynappers’ asses, and crossing your finger that the next big adventure involves a hunky blonde (preferably named Chris). Houser injects Faith was so much charm and love, you simply can’t help but adore the character.
The art is mainly provide by Francis Portela, who is clearly a gifted illustrator. Every panel is finely detailed, every character drawn with personality and emotion. Combined with the color work of Andrew Dalhouse, Faith #1 is truly stunning book. Portela lets you feel every smile, sinister grin, look of fear, or laugh. There are a few moments when the staging is a bit muddled and it’s hard to to tell who is standing where and how they got there. But even when Portela stumbles, it looks good. Beautiful doesn’t even begin to describe it.
This first issue also features a few fantasy sequences, in which Faith imagines a world of perfect superheroing. These scenes are drawn by Marguerite Sauvage, and holy cow are they amazing. Sauvage’s style is a bit more cartoon-based than Portela’s, which is fitting of her pages’ use in the issue. Sauvage’s page layouts are wonder and whimsical, on par with some of the best artist working in the biz today. You find yourself skipping back to these pages again and again, just to marvel at them. Sauvage is a headliner, make no doubt about it. Her stuff is unreal.
Faith #1 is a comic you should absolutely check out, wether you’re a Valiant fan or not. It doesn’t require that you’ve read years worth of backstory—you can jump right in and enjoy the awesomeness that drips off of every page. Houser, Portela, Sauvage, and Dalhouse are a team to be reckoned with, and we look forward to reading a lot more comics from them in the future. This is a superhero done right, folks, and that’s something we can all appreciate.