Faithless II #3
Writer: Brian Azzarello
Artist: Maria Llovet
The new issue of Faithless is out and I’ve loved this series so far. The mix of slice-of-life, supernatural, and LGBT themes has made for a very interesting, unique and suspenseful series. The last issue ended on a dramatic note with the homeless old woman appearing before Faith and Poppy. Nearby dogs swarmed to attack the pair while Poppy was stuck to a railing, leaving Faith to handle the situation. After reading that I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. Now that the latest installment is out it’s time to finally see how things playout for the girls. Let’s get into the review.
This is a surprisingly quiet issue given the ending of its predecessor. After a hellish nightmare where Poppy turns into a swarm of flies, Faith wakes up on the ground. She’s surrounded by people and dead dogs but there’s no sign of the old woman. Poppy doesn’t seem to know what happened either so it’s assumed Faith simply fainted due to jet lag. Later on, Faith meets Poppy and a group of her rather rude friends in a nightclub. This all leads to Faith using her powers again and moving closer to the dark side, represented by Louis.
Issue #3 is well-written though. Some people might be disappointed that it’s not action-packed or exciting given how the last one ended though. I don’t think that’s ever been the style of this series though. Azzarello has mostly focused on the relationships between characters and the psychological aspects of these people. There have been brief moments of horror and excitement but it’s never been the main focus. Faithless is the story of a girl with an interest in the supernatural slowly being seduced by an evil force. It makes perfect sense that Azzarello would continue this idea here and he does it well.
Faith has become more and more inclined to use her supernatural powers to hurt others throughout the series. This usually happens when Faith feels that someone has seriously wronged her or Poppy and it’s mostly seemed somewhat justified. She’s used her powers in self-defense when confronted by predatory thugs and unintentionally when a friend sexually harassed her. These situations always led to something awful happening to the people hassling Faith but you could argue they’d earned it. This is the first issue where it seems like Faith has legitimately gone over the edge. She’s choosing to use extreme measures to punish the kind of behavior that most would simply find irritating. This progression in the lead character is what really makes this issue interesting and enjoyable.
The art by Maria Llovet is great once again. The opening nightmare is a creepy, hellish recreation of the area in Italy that Faith is visiting. It’s not as detailed as the rest of the issue but it’s nice and creepy so the art fits well. The rest of the artwork is extremely detailed, even little things like the furniture in Faith’s hotel room. I think Llovet may have even made the nightmare sequence less detailed on purpose due to this. Dreams tend to be quite vague. The higher level of detail in real life panels compared to the lower detail in the nightmare would reflect that. I’m not entirely sure if this was the intention but it was the impression that I got. Even after this, the faces, outfits, and the panels with Louis all look incredible. I think Maria deserves a lot more recognition for her artistic skill.
The lettering is really well-done throughout the issue as well. We’re once again treated to the large, multi-colored sound effects that have been used throughout the series. They do a lot to draw attention to important noises. The most remarkable thing about them though is that despite the bright colours, the onomatopoeia doesn’t distract you from anything. You can still concentrate on the art and the story. On top of this, there are differently coloured speech bubbles for when Poppy and Faith communicate through text. Blue for Faith and Green for Poppy. It’s a nice way to make it clear that they aren’t talking in-person and show who’s speaking in each bubble.
In summary, this was a quieter follow-up to the last issue than some might expect but it was extremely well-written. The art was terrific throughout the book and there’s the very creative use of lettering in the issue. We’re half-way into the second volume of this series now so I can’t call this issue accessible. A new reader would be better off starting from the original volume’s first issue but this was good. If you’ve enjoyed Faithless so far then this is another great entry in Azzarello and Llovet’s story. I’d eagerly recommend it to you. A newer reader probably won’t get what’s going on from this issue alone though.
Faithless II #3
This latest issue of Faithless is another great entry in the series. It may not be as exciting as some readers might've expected it to be after the end of last issue but it still stands strong. This is due to a mixture of superb and suspenseful writing of the story and characters by Azzarello, unique, detailed and gorgeous yet occasionally creepy artwork on the part of Llovet and a creative use of lettering throughout the issue. It might not be hugely accessible to new readers at this point in the series but this was still a terrific read that fans of this story are bound to love.