Normally, I read the books Comic Bento sends me in the order listed on the small card they include with every box. Normally, that doesn’t matter much as each book comes from a different publisher, features different characters, and may even cover different genres.
Not so much this month with the all-Valiant box. The first book listed actually perhaps should have been read third. It didn’t throw me off too much, but I will be mixing up my usual reading order for the next two just so I can, you know, read the books in the order they came out and more or less understand everything that’s happening.
But let’s start with Faith anyway.
Faith is Faith Herbert, AKA Zephyr. Introduced in the pages of Harbinger, Faith was a plus-sized young woman who grew up loving comics, sci-fi, fantasy, and all things geeky. That sounds familiar. Aside from the codename, Faith is very comfortable in her own skin and seems to enjoy what she does.
What she does is be a superhero. Spinning off on her own after whatever went down in two of the other books that came in this month’s Bento box, Faith moves to Los Angeles, has something of a long distance relationship with Archer of “Archer and Armstrong,” adopts a secret identity since her real name is well-known, puts on a pair of glasses and a wig, and gets a job as a journalist.
Actually, she gets a job at a celebrity gossip type website writing listicles. As far as she’s concerned, that’s close enough. As far as her co-workers know, she’s a curly-haired redhead named Summer Smith. Her activated psiot powers (mental powers that work like mutant genes or whatnot) is she can fly and project a field of some kind to act as a shield or do some basic telekinesic work. Though her nightly patrols have thus far only gotten so far as puppy thieves, there are some bigger fish to fry brewing in the City of Angels involving Faith’s former teammate (and current reality star) Torque, one of her favorite science fiction TV shows, and the mass disappearance of unactivated psiots in the L.A. area.
Written by Jody Houser, Faith is just a fun title for the one Valiant hero I have encountered thus far who isn’t moody, depressed, violent, or inclined to use lethal force. In fact, when a master villain suggests Faith is going to kill him like most Valiant heroes do, Faith is actually horrified by the idea and says simply if the guy and his minions come back, she’ll just have to beat them again. So, she’s an optimist on top of everything else.
The book works well, and this volume was just an introductory mini-series leading to an ongoing. I’m giving it nine out of ten Faith fantasy sequences, and generally the only reason I don’t give a lot of Valiant stuff a perfect ten is because they tend to end too soon.
Next Book: Back to the pages of Harbinger, this time with Volume Two, to see where the newly formed Renegades all came from, including some much-needed backstory for Torque given some of the stuff I just read may make more sense that way.