What is this all about?
(Spoilers ahead!) In this issue, Timewalker elicits the help of Faith to join her and Ank, a dinosaur-like woman, to save reality. Neela Seth is a brilliant physicist turned time traveler who has collaborated with Ank to solve time-related mysteries over the past year. Faith is a superhero who has the power of flight, among other things. Faith was recently framed by her enemies for a crime she didn’t commit. She has been grounded, unable to use her superhero powers because her alter-ego, Zephyr, is wanted by the authorities. When Timewalker meets Faith at her job, she readily accepts the invitation to join in on an adventure to save time. This issue is about a collaboration of heroes who fight a sinister robot who is stealing time. To win they must learn from their past as they travel through time.
Timewalker’s remark, “Come with me if you want to save history”, is a memorable introduction to both the character and this team-up story. She then states, “People see what they want to see” which gives the reader an explanation for how this meeting could occur in a crowded office in the middle of a work day. As we are introduced to this new collaboration, we are also brought up to speed with a simple exchange. Timewalker asks Faith, “Do you know who Adolf Hitler is”? Faith doesn’t. Timewalker informs Faith that she should know how he is. The exchange seems both relevant to the story and the current political climate.
Faith’s confusion communicates to the reader the mystery surrounding this enormous task. The story quickly transitions through time to Maryland during the Civil War. A mass of soldiers made up of both the North and the South run by them as they try to escape a yet unseen enemy. They follow and find the soldiers killed by a large robot which is standing over their bodies.
Soon afterward, they meet the giant robot that’s been referenced a few times earlier in the book. Faith’s statement follows, “Time to save time”. She quickly changes into her superhero outfit. Faith’s superhero costume reflects a comfort-fit and not tight spandex with revealing cuts. This is a refreshing departure from the way female heroes are depicted in many superhero books.
The conflict between Faith and the robot rings flat, but at least she’s engaging the robot in battle. The dialogue between the robot and Faith is cheesy, flat, and cliché. The robot is not artistically interesting that the battle between them ends quickly.
The story feels isolated from a greater context which may have given it more meaning. Despite time-traveling back to the Civil War and the conflict with a large robot, there is never any contact between the heroes and the people around them. The anti-climactic death of Faith furthers this point. Although she demonstrated great confidence and willingness to engage this large threat, the robot kills her easily.
The most interesting twist occurs at the end when the Timewalker goes back in time to save Faith. Her use of time travel reveals for the reader two important lessons learned. Faith isn’t enough to defeat the robot and that to defeat the robot they will need to do something different. As anticlimactic as the fight with the robot was, the travel back to reset time, allowing them to try again, was interesting. Timewalker’s determination and assertiveness communicates to the ready a level of awareness in the character and a hopefulness that the story will expand.
Overall the story feels contained, small, and non-impactful. The Timewalker is interesting but, as a reader, I wanted more out of Faith. The story leaves us with a satisfying cliffhanger. As Timewalker arrives back at the office and meets Faith the reader wonders, how will this new collaboration defeat a seemingly undefeatable robot? Is the larger enemy yet to be revealed, time erased? I’m interested in learning how this team restores reality. Faith’s tearful response, “I’ve been preparing my whole life for this moment”, tells the reader how import solving this problem is for her. And, this time Faith brings a team with her.
Reviewed by Tom Zimm
Faith and the Future Force #1
Written by Jody Houser
Art by: Stephen Segovia and Barry Kitson; Colors by Ulises Arreola; Letters by Dave Sharpe
Published by Valiant
Release Date: 7/26/2017