Faithless #2 is the second issue of the new BOOM! Studios five-part series written by Brian Azzarello, with art from Maria Llovet, and letters by AndWorld Design. The series follows a young woman named Faith who is bored with the world and looking for more. Magic, love, something that isn’t her monotonous life.
Last issue, Faith found more in Poppy and in Faithless #2 she finds more than she ever thought was possible while also finding what she hoped for: magic. In Faithless #1, the comic ended with an image of a magical being pleasuring Faith and Faithless #2 opens with a different seemingly monster between Faith’s legs, although its unsure what was real and what was a sexy dream as its made clear that Poppy left while Faith slept, calling into question the reality of what we just saw on the page.
Explicit images below
While we begin to question what is real and what is magical fantasy, Faithless #2 switches to the game to find the Poppy at a drug-fueled art party. When Faith steps into Poppy’s world she is starstruck, reaching out to her friend Aya for help, who is relatably sitting at home playing Red Dead Redemption and watching porn. As Faith navigates the party she gains the attention of multiple famous men. Unfortunately, it’s unclear as to if she is sexually or romantically interested in the celebrities, a frontman, and an artist, or if she is just nervous and caught off-guard, the colors of Llovet’s art makes it a 50/50 shot.
While the writing in issue number one, Azzarello’s dialogue is confusing in Faithless #2, specifically in Faith’s encounters at the art party. In fact, the most coherent language in the issue is in the letter left for Faith by Poppy with instructions and the text thread between Faith and her friend. Now, this may be purposeful and it seems like the point for at least Faith’s encounter with the moody and aggressive artist. That being said, it isn’t executed well and leaves me questioning about the world Faith is fitting into.
As the comic continues, Faith comes into her magic in a rather problematic way. After being harassed by men on the street she speaks and the words become true, arousing the men and making them have sex with each other. While Llovet’s art in the scene is erotic, the men being forced into sex with each other is on the level of Purple Man removing agency from Jessica and the rest of his villains. Just because Faith is doing this to fight off would-be assaulters doesn’t make it less cringe-worthy.
In addition, the fact that sex between the men is seen as a punishment to shame the men, taking place in the middle of the street, is problematic at best. The scene itself is beautifully illustrated but the dialogue and motive behind made me, as a reader, uncomfortable in trusting both our protagonist and her writer.
Even with these choices, it’s safe to say that Llovet’s art is the best part about Faithless #2. Not the script or narrative movement, but the art that makes a pout look erotic, that isn’t hyperdetailed and yet you can feel the characters expressions. There is a sensuality in every piece of every character that is sexual without making the character become objectified.
The colors sing off the page and lettering from AndWorld Design adds elements of detachment and mood to the scenes. The font choice for the Poppy’s letter adds a whimsy, like Cinderella getting ready for the ball. The text message bubbles popping above the party scenes show how out of place Faith is in the setting. And ultimately the bolding of certain words adds depth to incoherent conversations that help the reader find a pathway through the nonsense from the artists.
Overall, the fact that Faithless is only a six-issue series means that I will ride this story out, but I can’t say that progression in the story executed with what it needed to in order to add weight to Faith’s magical awakening, right after having her sexual awakening in the last issue. While Faith is interesting, Poppy’s manic pixie dream girl is as frustrating as any character that fits that trope. With the high rating that I gave Faithless #1, this issue was a let-down.
Faithless #2 is available now wherever comics are sold.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.