BOOM! Studios is playing up the erotic angle when it comes to Faithless, a new series by Brian Azzarello and Maria Llovet, but truth be told this is much more of a mature relationship drama. The first issue drops this week, introducing the world to a girl named Faith. She likes to draw magic symbols and knows they hold power, but it might require a helping hand to show her true power.
So what’s it about?
Read the preview.
Why does this matter?
Azzarello is coming off his Batman: Damned work, and we all know how that went. Then we have Eisner Award-winning artist Paul Pope doing the covers. Score. Finally, there is Maria Llovet doing the art on the book, who came off her own comic book featuring strippers, a sadistic dominatrix and more. I think we have a recipe for greatness here.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This book is very good at capturing that dead time we all experience with friends and strangers in life. Most of the book focuses in on Faith’s day starting at a coffee house where she’s friendly with who seems like everyone. She soon meets a mysterious and alluring girl who is being chased by an ex-boyfriend. Their adventure leads to intimate moments and moments of sharing and learning about each other, culminating into intimate moments. The thing is, the book opens with a sunny morning of masturbation but ends far differently. I won’t spoil a thing here folks, but know the end is going to stay with you.
This issue is also very good at some subtle clues. One has to wonder if Faith is evil, or wants to be due to the ritualistic symbols she likes to draw. She seems like an overall nice person and there’s evidence of such at different points of the story. That leads one to believe the final page is a sign of things going badly for Faith and should effectively get you interested in where the story goes from here.
The art by Maria Llovet is very good, capturing the detail of backgrounds well. There’s a honed chaotic feel to the art that reminds me of Jim Mahfood’s work. It’s much more refined here, but that undercurrent of flair is ever present. Sexual scenes are done tastefully and in no way are exploitive. In fact, I’d argue this is less an erotic story and more of an adult one. We’ll see if the series ramps up the erotic nature since they’re selling that angle so hard, but this issue is somewhat tame especially compared to series like Saga. The colors by Llovet do well to keep the book looking realistic, but with a pop of color just under the surface. It’s a subdued palette but still mixes in various colors to keep your attention in the right place.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
You might need to curb your expectations here if you’re expecting something extreme. The cover and some of the marketing materials suggest this is a much more graphic book than it is, when really it’s an adult comic that takes its time with the storytelling. If you like character dramas you’ll love the dynamics in play with scenes, but it’s a slower pace to be sure.
Is it good?
A great first issue that introduces readers to Faith and delivers on a wicked cliffhanger. It’s a triumph of character building and brooding magic. The true magic of the series is the patient pacing and well-crafted characters. Faithless proves the devil is in the details.