Score: 4

This fun and attractive book is a great jumping-on point for new readers while still pleasing established fans

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Faith #10

By Jody Houser, Joe Eisma, Marguerite Sauvage, Andrew Dalhouse

Faith #10 swoops down to brighten your new comic day with “The Faithless”. This new arc will find Faith confronted with her most dangerous challenge since beginning her solo career.

Faith is a beloved character, and for good reason. She has a heart of gold, a strong sense of justice, and the desire to help – all admirable characteristics. Tack on her sense of humor and her self-acceptance, and you’ve got a character that most people will like.  It’s hard to imagine someone hating Faith, but that is the crux of this story arc.

The previous book touched on the meeting of some of Faith’s past foes, giving readers a sneak peek into what was to come: an alliance of enemies. As you may have guessed, we’re seeing that come to fruition in Faith #10, aptly titled “The Faithless”.

Faith has come full circle. All of her self-discovery and adventures starting out in Los Angeles have led here – to a young woman who finally feels she’s found home and balance. That sense of stability is about to be rocked by a cadre of villains that she’s already defeated, but this time they’re back with a vengeance, and they’re not alone.

The book makes an excellent jumping-on point, yet it never feels rehashed. A solid introduction lets the reader jump right in, and within the story itself are crucial summaries of each villain. This provides clarification on their skill sets and reinforces the idea that this is not run-of-the-mill crime fighting. We see Faith go up against thieves on a regular basis, but these particular criminals up-the-ante. Best of all, the story features villains from each of the previous arcs. It’s satisfying seeing how these separate adventures all tie together.

Writer Jody Houser interweaves two storylines in this book, shifting from Faith’s perspective to that of the criminals. While they are inherently different, it’s their similarity that makes this notable: Faith reflecting on having built a circle of friends that she trusts, and the individual criminals realizing the benefit of becoming allies. In a nod to a Whedon-reference that I think Faith would approve of, this may be a case of “a slayer with friends”.  It will be fun to see how Faith ultimately overcomes The Faithless.

Despite the potential seriousness of the plot, Houser keeps things light without making them irreverent. She gets bonus points for a well-placed Yoda-ism, one that every Star Wars fan has quoted at one point or another. The book is a fun read, and Faith fans will enjoy it.

Artist Joe Eisma’s work is always enjoyable to look at with clean lines and clear-cut storytelling. His characters are highly emotive in expression and physicality, and he creates a sense of movement within the action panels. Plus, Eisma creates some of the best smug faces to grace comics, making him a perfect fit for a story with a movie-star-turned-villain. Marguerite Sauvage depicts the fantasy sequences. Faith is at her most feminine with Sauvage, and her layouts reinforce the concept that we are inside Faith’s mind. Colorist Andrew Dalhouse does excellent work. The airy and bright color scheme matched the tone of the story. His use of light is done well, and his coloring technique aids the feeling of motion in the action scenes.

Faith #10 ushers in a new arc and one of Faith’s biggest challenges yet. This fun and attractive book is a great jumping-on point for new readers while still pleasing established fans.

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