Faith #12- The Faithless: Finale!
Written by: Jody Houser
Art by: Joe Eisma
Colors by: Andrew Dalhouse
Covers by: Kano, Jen Bartel, Sarah Winifred Searle
Published by: Valiant
A review by Stacy Dooks
When I first watched “All Good Things”, the finale to STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, I remember not liking it very much. It didn’t feel like a proper final episode to me, there was no real sense of closure and I felt it didn’t go far enough to properly appreciate the journey the characters had been on and how far the series had come (time travel plot aside). As time went on however, my feelings toward the episode began to change. How does this tie in to FAITH #12? Walk with me for a bit, I’ll let you know what I mean.
I warmed to “All Good Things” because it slowly dawned on me that the story itself was an episode that celebrated the entirety of the series while at the same time bidding it a fond farewell. Rather than excessively navel-gazing the finale worked because it gave the viewer the best episode it could, and on the off-chance it was seen in syndication mixed in with other episodes, the finale would feel of a piece with the rest of the series. So it is with FAITH #12.
“THE FAITHLESS: FINALE!” is the culmination of a plot orchestrated by Faith’s Rogues Gallery. I won’t spoil it for you, but the finale of Faith Herbert’s debut series contains a lot of the things that made her book so utterly refreshing. Pop culture references abound and the humor is a treat as always, but the thing that has always brought me back time and again is the fact that Zephyr/Faith’s biggest power is her heart. The woman genuinely cares about people, and it shows even in her darkest hour. Jody Houser has an ear for amusing dialogue and for crafting a poignant moment, even when that moment involves a guy who wears a cartoon mouse head. We’ve all encountered variations on the “villains have the hero in their clutches” trope, but this one is interesting in that it has the hero actually trying to talk with the villain and engage with them on an emotional level. It doesn’t always work, but the fact that Faith is willing to try makes me love the character all the more.
Joe Eisma steps into the big shoes left by Pere Perez and Francis Portella, succeeding in making the visuals uniquely his own while honoring what came before. I quite enjoyed his work with Dark Star, which had me chuckling. Each character has a unique style and expressions, from the heroine to the villains to the supporting cast, and Eisma manages to handle everything from the suspensful to the silly with an assured hand.
Buy It. FAITH is a rarity in comics: self-aware enough to poke good-hearted fun at the superhero premise while sincere enough to present a hero who legimitately wants to help people and make the world a better place. In an industry and an age where it seems like cynicism reigns supreme, comics like this are a welcome breath of fresh air. This might be the final issue of FAITH, but with the upcoming FAITH AND THE FUTURE FORCE series poised to take the character into a new, presumably team-up format (which I for one would absolutely love) you’ve got plenty of time to track down the previous issues or collect them in trade paperback. If you’re a fan of fun superhero comics with heroes you genuinely root for, you’ve got to have FAITH.