By Jody Houser, Joe Eisma, Andrew Dalhouse, Marguerite Sauvage
Faith #8 will restore your Faith. A personal story addressing the universal issues of confidence, expectations, and guilt, Faith #8 takes us back to brass tacks by reminding us of the heart at the core of the title.
After the events of the previous issue, our high-flying heroine was left grounded. Haunted by ghosts of her lost family and friends, Faith takes their accusations to heart, fearing that she has failed them. Seemingly followed everywhere by the angry apparitions, Faith ultimately secludes herself at home, questioning her own worth. The issue was a bit of a departure for Faith, whose optimism and fortitude are key components to her nature and serve to set the tone of her title.
Enter Faith #8, which opens Faith still battling with bleakness and insecurity. Writer Jody Houser has portrayed Faith as embodying the light and joy that her name suggests, but the Faith title benefits from this trip into darker territory. It serves to make her more realistic and relatable. Some of Faith’s appeal is her self-assuredness and comfort in her own skin. But nearly everyone suffers from bouts of insecurity. Consider what Faith has been through: the death of her family, the death of a friend for which she feels responsible, the weight of responsibility incurred being a Renegade and a solo hero. Essentially orphaned, Faith has been living her life by ideals that her parents bestowed upon her without knowing if they would approve of her choices. It must have been devastating to finally see them again and have them level cruel accusations and voice disappointment.
Houser moves the story forward naturally, allowing Faith to come to grips with the situation. How Faith deals with the problem is within character, and it gives Houser the opportunity to deepen supporting characters. With the focus of the title being mostly on Faith’s adventures, it is refreshing to see more of the people who connect with Faith and cement her to her life in L.A.
Amidst the crime-fighting and often idiosyncratic situations, it is easy to lose sight of what makes the Faith title special. Not her body type or keen awareness of pop culture. Her heart and spirit. Her psiot abilities set her apart, but it is her spirit that makes her extraordinary. This story allows these qualities to shine through.
It also sets the stage for what promises to be one of Faith’s biggest challenges yet: an organized, concerted attack on herself. Faith is used to saving others; soon she’ll have to save herself.
The artistic talent makes this an attractive book. Artist Joe Eisma and colorist Andrew Dalhouse team up to bring Faith’s story to life. Artist Marguerite Sauvage returns to create the fantasy sequences.
Eisma’s clean lines and straight-forward storytelling make the book appealing and accessible. He excels at creating fetching yet individual characters whose highly expressive facial and body language enliven the story. His depiction of Faith’s body type, which can be a stumbling block for some artists, is done realistically. Faith’s emotion is outstanding, particularly in the panel where she bursts onto the scene. Dalhouse does fine work with the colors, whether depicting the ghastly glows of the horror scenes or the more natural tones of normal scenes. His colors enrich the story, and his use of added depth on key characters helps focus the eye from panel to panel. Sauvage’s fantasy sequences are as beautiful as precious memories, highlighting Faith’s inner beauty. Her depiction of Flamingo is gorgeous.
Faith #8 is a personal journey that will resound with fans. It reminds readers of Faith’s core character and moves her story forward into more challenging waters. With its superb art and visual storytelling, this book is a welcome addition to the Faith lore.