Faith #2 Review
Jody Houser (@Jody_Houser) – Writer
Francis Portela – Artist
Marguerite Sauvage – Fantasy Sequence Art
Andrew Dalhouse – Color Art
Dave Sharpe – Letterer
Review by Joey Braccino
“They trust me. They know how this story is supposed to go. And that means I need to try harder. I have to find a way to make this right.”
Faith Herbert wants to be the iconic superhero from the stories she read as a child. She’s got the superpowers, she’s got the day job and secret identity (as Summer Smith, intrepid Zipline reporter content contributor), and she’s got the digital hacker whiz backing up her every play. But the explosive cliffhanger that decimated a suburban block during her last investigation is much more real than the comic books and movies led her to believe. The rest of Faith #2 finds eponymous heroine desperately trying to balance the emotional and physical fallout of her investigation with her increasingly chaotic “real” life as Summer Smith.
After a very successful first issue, Jody Houser and company continue the adventures of Faith, this time with a little less levity and much more serious psychological musings on life, relationships, and career. As Faith’s journey down the rabbit hole of the mysterious Psiot disappearances continues, Houser perfectly captures her complex emotional response to each twist and turn. Faith’s guilt at failing to stop the explosion at the end of last issue, her fatigue at constantly pursuing each lead, her reluctance to complete a Zipline assignment that will put her back in touch with her ex, her desire to push said ex back into heroing, her disappointment in her colleagues and herself—Houser takes Faith (and readers) through an emotional wringer in this issue, creating a sense of depth and reality to a character that could easily be stereotyped.
Look, Faith #2 is a bit of a downer in terms of Faith’s arc. She just can’t catch a break, and the cliffhanger here could potentially result in even more sorrow. Still, I’m impressed with Houser’s storytelling, and the character is engaging enough to warrant coming back.
For those that read my review for the debut issue, you’ll remember that I wasn’t as impressed with Francis Portela’s relatively stock naturalism. Unfortunately, much of my same criticism regarding the “flat” feel to the art still stands. This is really a subjective evaluation—I know that some readers will enjoy the stark realism and detail, but the overall feel of the book lacks a certain spark and dynamism that, say, Marguerite Sauvage’s work in the “fantasy” sequences of the book has. The character and the story feels special and unique, so I wish that the artwork had that sensibility as well.
Check it out! Minor quibbles with the artwork aside, Faith #2 continues to push the acclaimed new series into even more complex, rich places. Jody Houser and Company are doing something special here, and it’s definitely worth a look!