From the opening pages, you might think Faithless is going to be a slice-of-life romance story, following Faith as she hangs out with her friends in coffee shops doodling occult symbols in her sketchbook. But things start to get increasingly weird after Faith crosses paths with Poppy, and it seems like all her magical dabbling might be about to come home to roost.
Faithless is entirely upfront regarding the series’ content. There’s plenty of sex, sorcery and suspense as the issues roll on, and Faith finds herself increasingly out of her depth. Each issue shows how Faith changes after entering a relationship with Poppy, leading her away from the life she was living with her friends Aya, Max and Ginny and into a world of celebrity artists and unnatural incidents.
Although the hints might be subtle at first, it doesn’t take long to discover that Faith does indeed have some level of magical influence, just not necessarily in the way you might expect. Faith’s abilities don’t appear the most magnificent in their presentation but the effects are certainly memorable. The occult instances within Faithless can sometimes catch you entirely off guard and they do so with expert effect, varying from the surreal to some truly disturbing scenes in the more extreme moments.
Brian Azzarello’s writing throughout Faithless makes for a compelling read in which you’re just not sure what’s coming next. It’s an unpredictable journey with a unique balance between the mundane and the bizarre. Every character feels like their own person and this works perfectly to show just how far Faith’s life is moving away from what it once was.
I think my only major complaint about the writing is that there are a lot of questions that go unanswered. Throughout, Faith experiences numerous supernatural occurrences and largely doesn’t question them; the ending of the first issue and the start of the second go almost entirely unaddressed. While unusual happenings are often part and parcel of stories involving magic, I do feel like the fact that Faith never really questions what’s happening in some moments does detract from the narrative at times.
Maria Llovet’s artwork is an incredible addition to an already intriguing premise, working perfectly for all the supernatural horror, seemingly everyday moments, and sex scenes both standard and surreal. Llovet’s art has a noticeable manga influence, which married with quite flat colouring and loose feeling inks culminates in an incredibly distinctive style. A style that perfectly complements Azzarello’s writing.
Faithless is a comic about magic, sex, new relationships, and leaving your friends behind to become famous. Part Neon Demon and part Bret Easton Ellis novel, it’s a journey of self-discovery where everyone’s having sex with each other, and everyone’s dying.