December 6, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #45: Faith

I think she got the power of heart to form Captain Planet.
I think she got the power of heart to form Captain Planet.

A common theme to many a Misplaced Hero is that many times there’s only a single creator who’s really enamored with the character.  Oh, other writers and artists may have a decent run with the character, but often once the original creator moves on, the character is quickly relegated to the background or written out of the book entirely.  That is more or less what happened to Snapper Carr.  Creators showing favorites is nothing new, such as how Geoff Johns dealt with Black Adam, or Brian Michael Bendis’ clear love for Luke Cage.  But sometimes the creator love goes to a new character that doesn’t always stick around long.

One such example there is Faith.

Faith, real name never given, was part of a recruitment drive for an emergency Justice League during writer Joe Kelly’s run.  Kelly did a story where the League (consisting of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Plastic Man, Martian Manhunter, Flash, and Green Lantern Kyle Rayner) were zapped back in time to rescue Aquaman and the citizens of modern Atlantis from that same ancient time period.  The League actually died there, sort of, except for Plastic Man, but Batman being Batman had already recruited a team to fill in for the League under the leadership of his protege Nightwing.

Most of this interim League was made up of recognizable characters:  Green Arrow, Firestorm, Jason Blood, the Atom, Hawkgirl, and reformed villain Major Disaster.  And then there was Faith.  No one had ever really seen her before, but there she was.  She was codenamed “the fat lady”.  I seem to recall some source saying Faith actually did weigh a good deal, but she didn’t show it.  She may have been a legitimate fat lady, but the nickname was mostly there because of the old saying about how it isn’t over until a certain overweight female decides to open her mouth to song.

But why would anyone put Faith on the League?  True, she had some pretty nifty psychic powers, such as telepathy, telekenesis, and teleportation, plus perhaps some others that begin with the prefix tele-, but what made her better than a DC version of Jean Grey was a downright odd power that was in there for the heck of it.

Faith had something known as a “confidence aura”.  Basically, that means people just innately trusted her.  The power to move things with your mind is one thing.  The power to be everyone’s instant best friend is something else.  Maybe that’s why notoriously stand-offish Batman tapped her as a potential replacement.

I think we just identified Chris Pratt's superpower.
I think we just identified Chris Pratt’s superpower.

It may also be why she might have weighed a lot more than she looked…something about her powers made her appear thin.

Eventually, the League was restored due to actions in the past and the present, rescuing the time lost Atlanteans and a whole mess of other things, and Nightwing’s team more or less broke up, with some opting to stick around for a while.  That would include Faith, obviously, or I wouldn’t have much else to write about here.

Except, I don’t.  Aside from hinting at being raised by the military as a weapon, Faith’s backstory was never really filled in.  After Kelly left JLA, Faith lasted on the team long enough for new temporary writer John Byrne to take her off the League and put her onto his new incarnation of the Doom Patrol.  Since that book suggested the longstanding, highly recognizable original Patrol were somehow brand new heroes no one knew despite many past team-ups, and being this is John Byrne we’re talking about, his Patrol run that mixed the original team with newer characters including Faith basically didn’t last long, and Faith hasn’t been seen much since.

This might as well be Faith giving her backstory.

I guess superlikability wasn’t something anyone could think of stuff to do with.