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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Reader's Diary #1391- Jody Houser (writer), Francis Portela (artist): Faith Vol. 1 Hollywood and Vine

There's been a lot of positive press about Jody Houser's Faith, the plus-sized superhero, but in retrospect, it was all about that single aspect. And yes, it's great, and overdue to see a superhero with a more realistic body type. But there seemed to be little emphasis on the story itself, except perhaps to say that her weight is never the plot, or even really an issue. Again, that's all good, but you can have the greatest and most inspiring character ever and without a plot, who cares?

And honestly, I just finished Faith: Hollywood and Vine a couple of days ago and I've already forgotten most of what happened. I do remember a plot about saving puppies (that was pretty funny, actually) but the rest of what I remember is mostly character building. I like character-building, of course, and I'd probably not have to go back many blog posts to find instances when I wished for more of it. I liked that Faith consistently had Walter Mitty-type fantasies. Besides adding doses of humour, it humanized her even more. Imagine, a superhero who needs to fantasize?! There were also references to Faith having once been part of a superhero team known as the Renegades. Not having followed Valiant superhero comics before, some of this was lost on me, but not so much I couldn't understand what was going on (honestly, there wasn't much going on, but more on that later). I was, I should add, a little disappointed that the men in the story didn't also have more realistic bodies, but I'm not a men's right nut, so I didn't lose sleep over it. Plus, I don't know how much of this (the love affair with the hunky Torque, for example) was carried over from Faith's previous writers so maybe we'll see a plus-sized love interest (a fat guy who isn't evil or clumsy comic relief or both?!) in the future. Finally, I'd be remiss to not mention how great it was that Faith was a comic-reading geek, but then, perhaps given the readers, this might be considered pandering.

And now we're to the story. It involved aliens, a cult, brainwashing, an exposing of Faith's secret identity, and that all sounds good, but good god it takes a long time to get there. Then, when the final dust-up happens it's over too fast except for a cheesy cliffhanger to continue in future comics.

Also, I really didn't think much of the art. I mean, it's capable and all, but it's pretty generic looking (Faith's larger body, aside). Likewise the colouring is nothing inventive, with a spray-painted by computer tone.

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