ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Faithless,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Faithless #1 - But Why Tho

Faithless #1 is the start to a new BOOM! Studios five-part series written by Brian Azzarello, with art from Maria Llovet, and letters by AndWorld Design. Faithless follows a young woman named Faith who is bored with the world and looking for more. The more being, a little magic. The series will follow Faith as she discovers her latent magical abilities and attracts all the wrong attention. But for now, in Faithless #1, there is Poppy.  

This issue introduces Faith as a curious if not slightly spacey young woman whose interest in the occult is dismissed by her friends or downright off-putting. As she doodles magic circles in her notebooks she’s looking for so much more out of her life; she wants to be satisfied. That being said, magic is just a thought and a practice that she can’t do. Everything changes when she literally runs into Poppy.

The book does well in showing the complete banality that is Faith’s life. Similar to the mundanity of pleasure that Guillermo del Toro showed in 2018’s The Shape of Water, the comic opens with Faith attempting to reach climax and failing. But it’s just another part of the day, then she heads to a coffee shop, talks with friends, draws, but as she’s heading to the next stop in her boring life she spills coffee all over Poppy.

Stripping off her shirt, Poppy stands as a seeming manic pixy dream girl in Faith’s story. Blue-haired and carefree, she is compelling, filled with dark humor, and “a mused.” After they immediately hit it off. Poppy is her foil, excitable and irreverent, she’s new. But when the two women go through an unexpected trauma, their relationship escalates to the more pleasurable kind. There isn’t much to the story the issue beyond the two women bonding and Azzarello’s writing fleshing out their distinct personalities.

Llovet’s art in Faithless #1 is beautiful and erotic. To see sex-positivity in the opening pages and at the end is refreshing, specifically seeing female pleasure explicitly shown, which is beautiful and rarely seen. The panels are close-ups of intimate moments building to a reveal. Lips, faces, hands, breasts, it’s all erotic without being gratuitous. The ending mirrors the beginning and twists in a way that left me with many questions. There is a care and realness to the female body shown that I think comes from the fact that these scenes are illustrated by a woman.

While I love this comic, it seems more like a slice of life than magical self-exploration. The pacing is also slightly off, with the two women coming together quickly and without any hesitation. That being said, they seem to embody tropes from romance, and their quick movement to each other is necessary for the narrative. With that said, the romantic comedy tropes that the two seem to inhabit fall away in the last page of the book. With that, there is enough to pull me in for issue number two.

Overall, I recommend that you pick up Faithless #1 for the Llovet’s art and for the start of a story that is sure to be magical in issue number two.

Faithless #1 is available where comics are sold April 10, 2019.

Faithless #1
4.5

TL;DR

Overall, I recommend that you pick up Faithless #1 for the Llovet’s art and for the start of a story that is sure to be magical in issue number two.