With the second issue of Faith, Valiant’s journey into diversity continues, albeit with the ironically tried and tested “hero becomes a reporter” as a secret identity.
Carrying a level of guilt from her actions at the conclusion of last issue, Faith starts to doubt herself and her fantasy of being a super hero. Coupled with further disappointments she suffers, both at work and with a very specific fellow psiot, Faith’s belief system takes a bit of a battering. Still, heroes rise to challenges.
Writer Jody Houser writes in a simple yet effective way. The script is full of angst that you would expect from a new superheroine That said, there is an overwhelming feeling of been there, done that. Faith sounds like a lot of other characters that are currently running around, which I have to admit I was disappointed with. With the press this book has been getting, I did expect more from the writing.
The art for the most part is by Francis Portela who delivers a strong issue. His pencil work is defined yet doesn’t detract from the overall pace or flow of the book. Various panel layouts are used throughout the book, matching the dialogue well and helping pull the story along, through the various environments. Facial elements, sometimes a problem for artists, are well handled by Portela, with a slight nod towards the style of Beryl Cook. Portela is helped out by Marguerite Sauvage for the daydream/fantasy world which serves to contrast and works really well. Andrew Dalhouse is on colors who displays a deft touch in action scenes, as well as the quieter moments; the prisoner scene for example is brilliantly done with the use of one main color and variants used to create an emotive response for the reader.
Part of the idea of this book is the plus-size heroine. Now, I don’t particularly care about body type or size. In fact, I remember Faith the first time Valiant produced comics. To me, and there will be others that disagree with me, but if the book is well written has strong art, I don’t care if the lead is a man or woman; straight or gay; big or slim. I just want a good story. Faith does cover parts of that, but I am left a tad annoyed with some of passive aggressive tones used in her confrontation with Torgue, though I am more annoyed with the over-familiar reporter slant than anything. With that in mind, I think that Valiant have missed a trick, talking diversity yet only allowing that diversity to be used in a cosmetic manner.
FAITH #2 (of 4)
Written by JODY HOUSER
Art by FRANCIS PORTELA and MARGUERITE SAUVAGE
PUBLISHER Valiant Entertainment