Faith and the Future Force #1
Writer: Jody Houser
Art: Stephen Segovia and Barry Kitson
Colors: Ulises Arreola
Doctor Who fans will love this issue.
What You Need To Know:
Like any first issue – this time round, you really don’t need to know anything. Jody Houser pulls off a tremendous first issue, one where everything you need to know is revealed in pretty much the first panel, and from then on you’re on the same journey of discovery as Faith Herbert.
What You’ll Find Out
The time-traveller Neela Seth and her dinosaur-like companion Ank have discovered that someone is trying to rewrite history. They’re out of their depth, and the past has already been changed. Just how much becomes clear early on, when there’s a throwaway question: “Have you heard of a man named Adolf Hitler?”
What Just Happened?
I love time travel. I especially love time travel when it’s self-aware, and Faith and the Future Force is genre-savvy at its best. Take, for example, Faith’s tear of joy when she’s approached and asked if she wants to save history. Her reaction is priceless, and Houser’s plot only becomes more relevant when you remember the BBC recently cast the next Doctor Who lead as a woman.
The plot fizzes and crackles like all the best, and we find ourselves riding on the waves of Faith’s fangirl enthusiasm. How many Doctor Who fans can resist the idea of hopping into a time portal and saving the world? How many Doctor Who fans don’t imagine battles against robotic creatures that yell words like “delete” and “exterminate?” Faith is the perfect window into the world of Valiant superheroes, and this issue will make you fall in love with the character all over again.
Meanwhile, Neela Seth and Ank are tremendous fun too. The way Neela handles Faith is perfect, carrying the sense of a weary parent indulging an overenthusiastic child, and it sets her up as the ‘straight man’ to so many laugh-out-loud moments.
And then there’s a twist. Suddenly, shockingly, we learn that Faith isn’t enough. She can’t save the world. She can’t save history. Her attempt goes tragically wrong. The light-hearted tone of the comic makes it all the more shocking, and you’re left reeling at the ease with which this ray of sunshine is extinguished. This is comics at its best, balancing light and shade for effect, presenting a story with real emotional impact.
The art is perfectly suited to the story, with Segovia and Kitson presented the narrative in bold terms. The real star of the show, though, is Ulises Arreola, whose colors leap off the page. He creates a tone and style that perfectly matches the narrative, with vibrant hues that leap off the page. I love the variety of his colorschemes, with each street and alley colored slightly different so as to denote the changing patterns of light. The stand-out scene is undoubtedly the moment when Faith is taken into the past, with the artistic team carefully designing a page that conveys so many ideas at once. Meanwhile, Faith’s joyful reaction is delightful to see.
This is how you do a first issue; you can consider me hooked.