By Jody Houser, Pere Perez, Andrew Dalhouse, Marguerite Sauvage
Faith #3 is just good fun to read. Never more in her element, this new arc, “The Long Con,” sees Faith reunited with Archer at the West Coast Fan Convention.
Fresh off of her ordeal with the villain behind a slew of crimes including her abduction, Faith is ready for some R&R. She accompanies Archer to his first fan convention – an activity that has special meaning to Faith. Like their other dates, things go awry. Behind all of the fantasy and fun lurks evil. While the magnitude of the crime isn’t on the same level as saving the world, as Faith points out, how can you call yourself a hero if you don’t help? She and Archer jump in headfirst and find themselves embroiled in something even stranger than Archer in cosplay.
Writer Jody Houser delivers an appealing script that captures Archer’s boyish charm in his first con experience while giving more backstory to Faith’s joy in fandom and comic culture. We see the significance of the event through Faith’s eyes, lovingly illustrated by Marguerite Sauvage. For readers who have never attended a con, this book is the next closest thing. As an added bonus, Faith’s “Con Tips” are well-placed, effectively teaching Archer as well as the reader proper etiquette and planning. (Here’s hoping the next book has a tip reminding fans to not set their stuff down on the artists’ tables and artwork.)
Filled with fun creator cameos and notable artist banners in artist alley, the background scenes make for an eye-catching book. Scanning artist Pere Perez’s con crowd for cosplay and character t-shirts is as much fun as real life people watching. It’s not all fun and games, however. There’s something more sinister going on than theft, and it introduces a new element to Faith’s world – one we’ve seen in other areas of the Valiant Universe. The predicament the heroes find themselves in is a plot device staple, but in the case of Faith, it’s endearing rather than tiresome.
Pere Perez illustrates and inks the “live action” portion of the story with Andrew Dalhouse providing colors. The fantasy sequences are created in full by Marguerite Sauvage. Perez creates a winsome Faith. She has a sparkle that reflects her personality, undoubtedly aided by Dalhouse’s colors, which lend a lighter-hearted feel to the story. Faith and Archer in particular are highly expressive, never leaving any doubts as to their emotions in any given moment. Sauvage’s depiction of Faith’s memories are a standout. A montage of experiences, their beauty is not just in the lines but in the emotions they evoke. Sauvage also handles a clever sequence of imagery depicting an electronic trail our crimefighters are following. The change of artists for this reality sequence is effective, making it clear that what we are seeing is not the “live action” that Perez depicts. Overall, the book is bright, colorful, and effective at delivering the story and driving the reader.
Faith #3 is the most fun you can have outside of a real comic convention. Take a tip from Faith and avoid long lines – pick this book up right away.