Comics: Faithless #1 (2019) - Reviewed

Boom! Studios released the first issue of their new series, Faithless, Wednesday April 10th. This story follows Faith, a young woman with a strong belief in magic and witchcraft and her journey in dabbling in the occultist world. Faith only just experiments when it comes to magic, mainly trying to satisfy both curiosity and boredom, but by the end of issue one, you get the feeling that there is more to Faith’s story than meets the eye.The tagline for this series, as stated in the synopsis is “Faith is bored as hell. And Hell has noticed.” That being said, it’s clear things are just starting to heat up for the story’s heroine. 

Writer Brian Azzarello has an extensive history of comics including many titles from both Vertigo and DC Comics. He brings his experience and gritty writing style to Faithless, allowing it the edgy NSFW feel that Boom! is clearly going for with this story. Though we do not learn an extensive amount about Faith in the first issue, what we do know is enough to make the character interesting and engaging. Her friends tend to find her fascination with magic and the occult weird and off-putting, which is something that is clear gets under Faith’s skin, making her feel misunderstood and like a bit of an outsider. 

Early in the first issue we are introduced to Poppy, a woman who seems to be everything Faith is not. Beautiful and cocky, Poppy’s apathetic attitude toward life and the people around her is magnetic to Faith. While readers will immediately feel extremely cautionary toward Poppy, Faith is bored, and from the second she meets her it is clear that Poppy is anything but boring. Faith, being what seems naïve and desperate for someone who understands her makes quick friends with Poppy and in very explicit terms, one thing certainly leads to another when Poppy invites her back to her place. The tone of issue one for the most part is dangerous and very sexual. We do not really get a look into the supernatural vibe that the description of the series clearly states, unfortunately. I enjoyed Azzarello’s introduction to the characters, and am anticipating what comes next, but I do wish things would have hinted at the spooky occultist themes more. That being said, the very end definitely piqued my interest and made up for the fact that I found this issue to be more about sexual exploration than it was about truly allowing us to get to know the main character and her interest in the supernatural.

The cover art, created by Paul Pope is, in a word, steamy. It shows an erotic, bloody scene which showcases a naked Poppy and Faith in what seems to be a shower of blood. Certainly eye catching, the cover absolutely does well in showcasing the overall tone of the story. The rest of the art within the comic is done by Maria Llovet, who is no stranger to art of a more adult nature. Her artistic style intrigued me enough to browse her portfolio online and I am thoroughly impressed. Her heavy brushstrokes, attention to detail and ability to capture emotion and passion in her work is beautiful. While her ability to create wonderful scenery both casual and sensual in nature, I am extremely excited to see how she handles the more macabre scenes that no doubt will be in the future of Faithless.

Overall Faithless truly captured my interest. While I do wish we had received more of the witchcraft, occult and hell boasted in the synopsis, I did thoroughly enjoy the first glimpse we were given of Faith. I am looking forward to learning more about both her and Poppy as well as watching their relationship unfold. This is definitely going to be another piece from Boom! Studios that I will be looking forward to each month.

--Rachel Rutherford