Thoughts: Faith #1 and #2

faith

As possibly the only person to discover comics in college (and I mean really in college, in a course on sequential art), they are still somehow a new, shiny genre to me and since I mostly skipped superhero narratives and went straight to graphic novels, I was particularly excited about Faith, a plus-size woman whose superhero persona is Zephyr. Representation of women in comics who are neither stick-thin nor all boobs? Gimme! And Faith Herbert is written and drawn wonderfully, an actual three-dimensional character I could relate to and even like instantly.

Quick background info for all who like me have not read the Harbinger comics and are thus new to Faith/Zephyr. Faith Herbert, a psionically gifted psiot, was orphaned young and then discovered by the Harbinger Foundation. Gifted with the ability of flight, Faith fought with her team in the Harbinger wars against a baddie called Harada. The first issue of Faith, written by Jody Houser and drawn by artists Francis Portela and Marguerite Sauvage, then picks up after she leaves the team, moves to LA and starts flying solo.

Reminiscent of Clark Kent, Faith has a normal alter ego of Summer Smith, complete with a dayjob, writing listicles for a BuzzFeed-like website. By night she is out looking to save the world, but ends up saving puppies. Even when she dreams of a greater superhero life, Faith remains an optimistic character and something I’m sure will delight many: Faith is a fangirl! The comic is rife with references to other comics, to Doctor Who, and we get to see her have late-night chats, discussing the newest episode of a favorite show. It’s no suprise then that Faith structures her new solo life around the superhero with dayjob and vigilanteism. A wonderful aspect of this comic is that so far not one character in the comic has mentioned Faith’s weight and body built. Faith is a flying superhero and we are treated to gorgeous images of her flying in typical superhero position, an image that joyfully reminds of and replaces the iconic Superman.

I also loved how many of Faith’s collegues at work were people of color. And I think other characters which are hinted at or introduced here might turn out to be more diverse than Faith’s ex-boyfriend who is hilariously drawn in Ken-style. Fingers crossed! It’s obvious that the first half of Volume 1 are introductory issues and I really enjoyed getting to know Faith. Here finally, we are treated to a character who is a plus-size woman and Houser as well as the artists demonstrate the humanity of Faith. Instead of serving as comic-relief or being treated with derision, we get to see her settle into her new life, and best of all her body is not used for plot or character motivation!

As long as the pace picks up in the next issues, I’m sure Faith will be a very popular comic indeed, I know I’m excited to see her in action. Finally a superhero comic that draws me in. Volume 1, Hollywood and Vine, will be released on July 26th and will contain issues 1-4.

Have you read comics with diverse characters? Let me know in the comments!

Source: I received Faith #1 and #2 as an egalley, thanks to NetGalley and Diamond Book Distributors. But I’ll remain my opinionated self!

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17 thoughts on “Thoughts: Faith #1 and #2

  1. Yay! Glad you enjoyed it and I love that you discovered comics in college! That sounds like a fun course!

    Other comics with diverse characters:
    Bitch Planet
    Saga
    Genius
    Stuff by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew

    1. Ha yes my advisor was very into comics and it realy was a great way to discover them, I finally learned how to read more complex panels and the space between image/text 🙂 Thanks so much for the recs! I enjoyed the first Saga issue and have Bitch Planet on my tbr! I’ll have to check out Stuff and Genius!

  2. This looks wonderful, Bina! Thanks for telling us about it. I love the fact that Faith saves puppies when she is playing superhero. I will look for this series. Such a wonderful new discovery!

    1. Haha yes she really takes on those evil puppynappers 🙂 Hope you’ll enjoy the Faith comics, I’m looking forward to the complete Vol 1 myself.

    1. Heh I do enjoy good comics adaptations myself 🙂 Hope you’ll discover lots of great comics, there’s so many differences out now, I’m sure you’ll find something you enjoy!

  3. This sounds delightful.
    I haven’t discovered comic books yet, not really. But I have enjoyed a few graphic novels in my day. I’m currently reading Saga and thoroughly enjoying it.

    Faith sounds like the kind of story I like to read, so maybe I’ll pick it up one day. Hopefully my local game & comic book store has it.
    It’s important to have variety in our reading lives, and graphic novels are perfect for that. I also add variety by playing video games heavy on story. 🙂

    1. Yay for Saga, I read and enjoyed the first issue! I think you might enjoy Bitch Planet, it’s on my tbr, and perhaps Lumberjane comics. For women of color: Niobe is on my list, I utterly adore Princeless, check out #wearewakanda. There’s one amazing comic, Yohancé, which is on kickstarter for the print edition, fingers crossed! I’d definitely recommend taking a look!
      I’ve focused more on graphic novels as well. I should check out video games, I never really was into gaming and now it feels overwhelming, baby steps methinks 🙂

    1. Yay, always glad to add to the tbr! 😀 I hope you’ll enjoy Faith when Vol 1 comes out, she’s such a great character. Yeah I started with graphic novels too, I was weirded out by the stereotypical superhero comics, but I’ve found both have so much variety it’s amazing, and there’s also fantastic webcomics 🙂 I just started out with Maus and Alison Bechdel’s graphic novels and then started exploring. Do you know Panels? Kinda Book Riot’s sister page for comics.

  4. I heart this post, Bina. Thank you. 😀

    I love Faith is plus-size. I love that it doesn’t contribute to the story. I love that she saves puppies. I must buy these ones. Soon. I am already in love with Faith.

    This is such an awesome post. 🙂

  5. I didn’t discover comics in college, but nearly — I read all of Sandman the summer after my high school graduation. Does that count? And can I second the recommendation of Genius? I know it’s only March so this may be premature, but I’m thinking that Genius will be one of my top comics of the year, if not my very most top one.

    1. Heh it sure counts 🙂 Very intrigued by Genius now. The first issue is available on Scribd so I’ll definitely check it out. I love the look of the heroine!

  6. OMG! I have this on my TBR. I heard about it on Book Riot I think and I’m curious about it. I guess a bind up copy is coming out later in the year because wherever I go to ask for it, it’s either sold out (comic shops) or I’m told it’s not out yet (book shops) so I’m confused.
    I’m new to comics as well so I know nothing about it or its publishing schedule.

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