Faith and The Future Force #3
Writer: Jody Houser
Art: Diego Bernard with Juan Castro, and Cary Nord with Brian Thies
Mamma Mia, here we go again…
What You Need To Know:
Physicist Neela Sethi has discovered the secret of time travel, and learned of a threat to all of reality – a deadly Do-Bot, a powerful robot that she simply can’t work out how to bear. She travelled to the present day to pick up a hero, Faith, but that wasn’t enough and she rewrote her own past by sending a note. Faith gathered all the world’s heroes together to head off to stop the Do-Bot…
What You’ll Find Out
Just why is the Do-Bot threatening reality anyway? Three issues in, and we’re no nearer to a motive. That turns out to be a deliberate strategy on Houser’s part, though, as the motive becomes the driving force of the plot.
What Just Happened?
The issue opens with an amusing sense of self-awareness, with Houser using Faith to express a love of “superhero movie reboots.” It’s so appropriate, given that – so far – Faith and the Future Force has essentially been nothing but a series of reboots. We keep seeing the heroes fail, and then time is rewritten and they all have to start over again. The question is, when will the heroes get it right?
Conceptually, it’s an interesting one; it uses time travel in an amusing way, facing the heroes with a repetitive Kobayashi Maru, and challenging them to eventually find a way around it. Each issue has seen the heroes take a different enough approach to make it enjoyable, but I have to admit that by this third issue the concept is starting to wear thin. Fortunately, the miniseries is now powering towards a conclusion, so it’s not as though this book is going to outlive its entertainment value by too much.
Valiant fans are sure to find the opening scenes entertaining, as we see a whole army of major Valiant heroes taking on this blocky little android. The action sequences are beautifully illustrated, but you can’t help feeling as though none of the heroes are particularly smart. It seems likely the Do-Bot is a mimic, able to duplicate the powers of anyone it encounters. The heroes are just feeding it more powers.
The problem is, the deaths now lack any emotional punch. We’ve seen heroes die too many times already in this book, and we’ve got the idea how it works now. As a result, this issue carries a strong sense of ‘going through the motions.’ Don’t get me wrong, many of the scenes are tremendously designed, the art is strong, and even the writing panel-by-panel is top rate. Unfortunately, the concept is really damaging it. The issue ups the tension by suggesting the timestream is finally beginning to break, which means we’re in for the final attempt to save reality.
The issue’s close takes us back to where we started, with a(nother) sequence where Faith is recruited. This time round, the scene plays differently, and we finally learn why Faith is the key. It’s because she alone thinks of the most important question of all: Why is this happening?
Although the issue’s strong, the sad truth is that the concept is wearing thing.