By Jody Houser, Barry Kitson, Diego Bernard with Juan Castro, and Ulises Arreola
The end of the world has never been more fun. Faith and the Future Force #2 is a pleasure to read, bringing together some of Valiant’s favorite heroes in a race for time.
This four-part min-iseries pulls characters from across Valiant’s shared universe. Flying psiot Faith Herbert is central to the story, but the character directing the action is Neela the Timewalker. As revealed in the previous issue, Neela has discovered that a cute but murderous robot is defying the natural laws of time, attempting to eradicate all time and space. In a desperate bid to stop it, she turns to Faith Herbert for help. When Faith dies in her first attempt to challenge Do-Bot, Neela uses her last moments of life to send herself a note across the time stream stating that Faith is not enough. At that point, Groundhog Day kicks in as Neela attempts to recruit Faith, who in turn, recruits the rest of the Renegades to help.
That brings us to the current issue. Faith, @x, and the rest of the surviving original Renegades set out with Neela and Ank (the dinosaur woman) to track down Do-Bot. Writer Jody Houser has a good handle on this team and what makes them tick. It was an absolute joy to see the gang back together, relating as friends and as teammates. Their current circumstances in Renegade are dire and thus lack lighter moments. In Future Force, though there is serious danger, we are also privy to some heart-warming moments as well as the gang’s typical humor. It feels good to see them like this again.
As for Neela, she has matured. She’s taken over the reins of protecting time from Ivar, and this has made her more circumspect. She’s more likable in this series, and her friendship with Ank adds a nice dimension to the story and to her personality. Neela still hasn’t shown all her cards, though. She’s worried and reticent about the mission. Whatever she’s holding back will likely be pivotal.
There’s plenty of other questions to be answered. Where and when Do-Bot came from is still a mystery, as is his creator. The reason why Faith is the “chosen one” is murky, but apparently it is knowledge that Neela has passed on to herself via brief notes through the time stream. But why Faith? Hypothetically speaking, it may not be her psiot power that saves the day, but her affableness and ability to bring fighters to the cause.
Since there’s an issue three to this mini-series, you can probably guess the outcome of this story. Still, no spoilers here. It will have to suffice to say that the final few pages will have fans whooping with joy. Original art collectors be forewarned – there are some iconic pages that you’ll want in your collection.
Artists Barry Kitson and Diego Bernard with Juan Castro team up to tell the story along with colorist Ulises Arreola. While their illustrative styles are distinct, they mesh well and give the book a cohesive look. The characters look fantastic. The panels flow well, making the action easy to follow. The coloring gives the book consistency with clear, bright colors. The use of light to depict the effects of time dissolution is done especially well. All in all, an attractive book.
It’s the end of all time, so party like it’s 1999. Don’t miss out on this fun and engaging book.