REVIEW: Faith and the Future Force #4

Faith and the Future Force started off with a bang. I loved the first issue and how we finally saw Faith involved in a time travel adventure. The villain of the story was charming but also shown to be a serious threat. I was less thrilled with the second and third issues. The story in those issues did a great job of building the villain by having it accumulate the powers of the heroes it conquered. We saw an enemy so unbeatable that it led to Faith recruiting the Renegades and later, the other elite heroes of the Valiant Universe. However, I felt the story was so purposely repetitive because of the ability to reset that it felt like the story was spinning its wheels a bit until we got to the finale.

To recap the story so far, an evil robot, Do-Bot is erasing history. Time traveler Neela has recruited Faith to stop the robot. Faith has been unsuccessful. She turned to the Renegades and heroes of the Valiant Universe for help, but they have all collectively failed. Issue 4 sees Faith think outside the box. If heroes have failed to stop Do-Bot, what about a villain?

Faith’s approach is interesting and I appreciate how she manipulates the villain into helping to find out the Do-Bot’s plan. My main issue is that I never felt Faith, Neela or Ank were in any serious danger. The previous issues showed that they can keep resetting time, so the consequences seem fairly low. I would have liked to see the level of danger amped up. This feels like a video game where you can’t die. I can appreciate a light tone in keeping with Faith’s previous run, but I don’t think the approach lends itself to making this a truly memorable series. The message Jody conveys is admirable and the ending feels original. I don’t know if it will satisfy all fans, but I love the ending and how it could be considered an origin story of sorts for one of Faith’s best enemies. In the end, I feel this series comes across as a true extension of Faith’s previous series and not the crossover that the pre-release marketing made it out to be.

Jody Houser’s writing is of her typical high standards. She balances humor with action wonderfully. The dialogue is natural and charming which makes this an easy read. Cary Nord’s art is excellent and the best of this series. Of particular note is the work put into facial expressions. It is easy to know what a character is going through at a particular moment without needing extraneous word bubbles. The issue flows nicely due to this and lets you focus on Jody’s character dialogue to keep the story moving along. Arreola’s colors look less artificial than in previous issues, which was a sticking point for me. I actually liked the way the colors enhanced the lighting and are more subtle than earlier in the series.

I give this issue 4 out 5 stars. This is a fitting finale to a great series. It is high quality all around and a fun read. Faith fans will love this, especially if they know how it ties back to her previous series. However, I don’t know if the marketing did this series any favors. We saw all the cover material with various Valiant heroes helping Faith and in reality, this was just a very good Faith story. As a fan of the character, that’s not a bad thing.

Written by Jody Houser
Art by Cary Nord with Brian Thies
Colors by Ulises Arreola
Published by Valiant Comics

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