By Jody Houser, Kate Niemczyk, Marguerite Sauvage
Faith #9 is an endearing tale of friendship focusing on the unsung heroes of the title: Faith’s friends.
We’ve witnessed how Faith manages her superhero duties with the help of @x. We’ve watched as she’s built an identity separate from that of her superhero persona. But what of the champions of her everyday life? Just as she doesn’t go it alone in the superhero world, Faith has the support of her newfound work friends.
This stand-alone tale serves as a snapshot of Faith’s impact on the lives of each of her co-workers, giving readers a view of life on the other side of super. Her co-workers are more than friends; they are ancillaries to her mission to do good in the world. Without their assistance, Faith wouldn’t be able to maintain the façade of her alter ego, Summer. In fact, they’ve done their fair share of rescuing Faith.
Writer Jody Houser’s story is both charming and enlightening. Readers are given a deeper look at these characters who play a large role in Faith’s life. It captures the realities of befriending a hero, highlighting their inspirational drive and fantasies as well as the difficulties of being guardians to a secret.
It wouldn’t be a Faith story without a nod to one of the cult greats. This time it’s Faith icon, Joss Wedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The story even features a Buffyesque new character (though she’s all Cordelia). For spoiler’s sake, we won’t discuss what happens, but it may strike readers who are fans of Buffy that this story echoes the sentiment of an episode of the television series: friendship. Faith’s co-workers at Zipline aren’t exactly the “Scooby Gang”, but their support is critical to Faith’s success. No hero is an island.
Artist Kate Niemczyk (Mockingbird) takes over penciling duties, her first outing with Valiant. Niemczyk has a strong, clean-line style that places the attention on her actors. Her work is natural looking and balanced. She’s consistent with her details across the board and gives each character full definition. Her work, coupled with Marguerite Sauvage’s fantastical panels, make for an attractive book. No separate inker or colorist was credited in the review copy, so it’s unknown if the usual colorist Andrew Dalhouse contributed or if Niemczyk inks and colors her own panels like Sauvage. Regardless, the color tones are consistent with the title’s standards.
Faith #9 is a self-contained story full of heart and charm. Beautiful in appearance and sentiment, this feel-good book will be a fan favorite.