Faith and the Future Force #1 by Jody Houser, Stephen Segovia, and Barry Kitson
Plot
Characterization
Art
Summary
FAITH AND THE FUTURE FORCE #1 is everything great about Faith comics wrapped in an excellent event book.
92 %
Time Warp

FAITH AND THE FUTURE FORCE #1 is a jam-packed event book that lets the reader see the Valiant Comics Universe through the eyes of its most relatable hero, Faith. Writer Jody Houser and artists Stephen Segovia and Barry Kitson set the wheels in motion for an epic time traveling adventure. While the issue hits a few speed bumps in the beginning, it has a great cliffhanger finish that makes it all worthwhile.

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Faith and the Future Force #1
Courtesy of Valiant Comics

Trouble in the Time Stream

This comic is generic time traveling fare. The plot is fairly basic, but it is bolstered by the strength of Faith’s character.  In FAITH AND THE FUTURE FORCE #1, our title character is in way over her head. Neela Sethi, a time-travelling genius, needs Faith’s help to stop an evil robot from destroying the time stream. Faith is Los Angeles’ greatest super-hero and a staple of the Valiant Universe, but she has never been known as a powerhouse hero. With just the gift of flight and some low-level psionic abilities, Faith has the odds stacked against her. Throughout this comic, Faith is comically self-aware of how dire her situation is. She questions herself constantly. It is refreshing to see a superhero react like a normal person would in a catastrophic situation.

Classic Faith

Despite being advertised as a big event book, the story is pretty on-brand Faith. First, there is a goofy villain, a toaster looking evil robot. Second, there is a play on a classic superhero trope. In this case, a Groundhog Day style time-travelling/ repeating caper. This is the type of self-referential bombastic superhero storytelling that audiences love about Faith comics.

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Mystery Men

Sethi and her dinosaur/human hybrid sidekick, Ank, appear to Faith at her job, and Houser thrusts us into our adventure from there. There is little background info on either character or the situation at hand. Sethi drops Faith into the American Civil War, where both sides are running from an evil robotic maniac. However, this aspect of the book is glazed over fairly quickly and we do not get much information or world building elements. Houser cuts the exposition in order to put the reader in the same position as Faith. We too are overwhelmed, excited and confused. This works in eliciting these emotions, but it does leave something to be desired for character development.

Faith and the Future Force #1
Courtesy of Valiant Comics

Houser does not give us much insight into Sethi and Ank, which is a little frustrating. The book only has three characters, and Faith’s personality does most of the heavy lifting. Sethi and Ank are used more as plot devices for Faith to bounce her reactions off of. They give exposition and give Faith instruction, but besides that, I really did not get a feel for them as characters. They simply did not have enough non-expositional moments to flesh out their personalities.

Faith and the Future Force #1
Courtesy of Valiant Comics

Everyone’s Hero

Faith and the Future Force #1
Courtesy of Valiant Comics

Houser does a great job of setting the stage for Faith’s character early on in the issue. Firstly, she is an “everyman” hero who gets her concept of what it means to be a super-hero from pop-culture. Faith thinks like we would in her situation. When time-warping super-geniuses pop into her life our hero automatically thinks of Dr. Who. Just like any sci-fi nut would. This is the type of sharp, self-referential writing that sets Faith apart from standard super-hero comics. Stating time traveling pop-culture tropes like saying, “Come with me if you want to live” are how Faith processes her situation.

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Team Up Time

This book is really the precursor to the eventual team-up between Faith and the “Future Force” – a gaggle of Valiant heroes who must save the time stream. As an introductory issue, FAITH AND THE FUTURE FORCE #1 successfully sets the stage for Faith to lead a group of super-humans on a time traveling romp.

The Art

Faith and the Future Force #1
Courtesy of Valiant Comics

Artists Stephen Segovia and Barry Kitson do a great job of rendering each character and the art is consistently good throughout FAITH AND THE FUTURE FORCE #1. This is a straightforward super-hero comic with art that perfectly delivers its story. Throughout the book, the faces are expressive and there is a great deal of dramatic posing and foreshortening. FAITH AND THE FUTURE FORCE #1 is classic superhero comic design at its best.

One particular standout was the portrayal of the dinosaur-hybrid, Ank. She is a hulking dinosaur mash-up that perfectly balances both reptilian and feminine characteristics without leaning too far in either direction. In many cases, comic book portrayals of fantastical animals can be too outlandish and eerie, but there is a naturalistic vibe to Ank that makes her character pop.

Final Thoughts

FAITH AND THE FUTURE FORCE #1 is a great start to what is sure to be another classic Faith team-up book. Fans of the Faith character will get exactly what they expect and more in this character-heavy first issue. Faith continues her streak as being one of the most accessible and sympathetic characters in comics.

Valiant Comic’s FAITH AND THE FUTURE FORCE #1 is out in stores July 26th. 

 

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