Faithless #1 is a hard sell.
Beginning with a hot and heavy sequence of close ups of our main character, Faith, trying and failing to masturbate to completion, we’re planted right into another scene of her and her friends sitting in a coffee shop.
They have small talk about one of the friends ghosting a guy on some dating app before we’re introduced to Faith’s interest in the spellcraft, being told that her spells never work, but that she’s more than willing to try on the off chance that it might one day. She and her black, occult fearing, friend have a little tiff about the hobby before Faith runs into a strange woman with blue hair who’s trying to avoid someone outside.
Faith spills coffee on the woman, who changes her top, and she asks Faith if she wants to go out for a day drink. They sneak out of the coffee shop, but run into the woman’s ex who reveals her name to be Poppy before backing off at the behest of Faith. The two go to a bar and watch as Poppy’s ex then commits suicide on live TV.
Poppy makes a few mean spirited jokes while Faith is visibly struck by what’s happened, and cries. The two then have a discussion about magic and art over wine leading to a steamy shower kiss and a sex scene as the book finishes with a climax almost mirroring the opening, but with a FAR more DISGUSTING and FANTASTIC twist.
Basic Storyline for a Batman Writer
The story here is very basic, but fits Azzarello’s particular style of subtlety, building things up very slowly before a big climax or shocking moment, though the characters he’s doing it with aren’t very interesting at best and downright awful at worst. Faith herself is a blank slate in the mold of any Southern California Hipster basic white girl (even with the possibility of being vaguely Asian.)
She’s a horny, broke-ish, young adult, who frequents a hip coffee place with an admittedly above average interest in spell-making. As she mentions magic and possibilities of it being real multiple times. Aside from the magic, the only standout thing about her is an apparent compassion for human life after she sees a guy she met not less than 20 minutes ago, kill himself.
Poppy is a piece of shit. Soon after watching her ex kill himself, she doesn’t show any sort empathy or sadness, instead, wiping away Faith’s tear away seductively and joking. She comes off as an asshole that in her words, “makes light of things she shouldn’t as a defense mechanism.” at least, that’s the way her Youtube Therapist describes it. Not to knock on anyone that does get help in that manner, but Poppy makes even that seem like a joke and that she really doesn’t care.
Through the issue she even seems to plant little suggestions to Faith, making her do things she might not have otherwise, from Faith “returning” a wallet that she pickpocketed to get a reward to buy Poppy a drink. The best/worst example of this is her asking Faith to take a shower at her place so that they can go to a party later, but of course they don’t.
Faithless Artist Reigns Supreme
Maria Llovet’s art, however, is top notch. My only exposure to her work, prior to this was a Black Mask Comics series called “There’s Nothing There.” She uses a lot of pastel colors and makes many scenes and Poppy especially stand out. The colors are flat, but in a way that gives everything that much more detail and life.
Her background in more erotic art also shows well as the close ups are very sensual and the naked bodies are drawn with much care and attention to detail with expressions, gestures and fantastic lighting. Her character designs are distinct and beautiful especially as she shows much improvement over her past work which makes me want to see how far she’s come from 2017 to now.
The book seemingly doesn’t have much going on. It’s more a series of coincidences and hipster-isms that climax in a strange ending that leaves you wanting more, but not knowing if the experience was worth it. The art is the main selling point for me and I will buy the next few issues for it in hopes that the story itself captures my interest too. Pick up your copy from BOOM! Studios or from your local comic shop.
How did we rate Faithless #1? 3 Sodas
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The Artist formerly known as Tyson Yurai fancies himself a fan of capes, dumb 90s trash and great horrors/thrillers!