Review – Faith: Dreamside #4 (of 4) (Valiant)

Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Writer: Jody Houser
Artwork: MJ Kim
Colours: Jordie Bellaire
Lettering: Dave Sharpe
Release Date: 9th January 2019

And so we round out Faith’s trip to the Deadside as she and Doctor Mirage come face-to-face with Belu, the demon who has been tormenting Minoca Jim with images of her dead friends.  And after a slightly slower pace in the first couple of issues, writer Jody Houser ramps up the tempo significantly here, delivering a blistering, action-packed finale.

Artist MJ Kim gets to really cut loose here during the climactic showdown, managing to bring us large-scale demon combat and intimate character moments with requisite flair.  And while all the big-timey stuff certainly looks the part, it’s the subtle facial expressions that go along with the various emotional beats that really help to sell the story.

Kim’s artwork is bolstered significantly by the colours of Jordie Bellaire and the lettering of Dave Sharpe, each of whom help to give this book the typically slick, polished aesthetic that has become synonymous with Valiant Entertainment.  Bellaire in particular does a great job of keying her colours to the tone of the story, shifting between subdued and vibrant palettes as Houser’s story and Kim’s artwork demands.

While it’s unapologetically cheesy at times, the conclusion manages to come across as both dramatic and pretty damn poignant, and helps to give Faith some much-needed new perspective following the whole “wanted for murder” thing.  Houser pays homage to past stories while setting up intriguing new ones, which is pretty much all you could ask for from a writer who has had such a storied run on a character.

What’s perhaps most impressive is the way that this series manages to deliver what is essentially a stand-alone tale while also playing into the wider Faith Herbert ongoing story.  New readers will be able to pick this one up and dive right in without any problems, but long-time followers will be able to revel in the subtle (and not-to-subtle) character development and call-backs that are dotted throughout the series.

The latest in a long line of rock solid Faith offerings from Houser then, and with some fantastic contributions from Kim, Bellaire and Sharpe, this series serves as a perfect microcosm of just what makes this character so special.  Charming, dorky and with a heart a mile wide, this is a superhero who’s difficult not to love.

Rating: 4/5.


ceejThe writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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