In case you missed it, I’ve already reviewed Faith’s first trade paperback collection, Hollywood and Vine, and her second, California Scheming. Writer Jody Houser isn’t penning mind-blowing plots, so if you haven’t read my reviews or the comics themselves, you’re still fine to read my review of the third trade paperback, Superstar.
The first thing I noticed is that there are more women credited at the top of the cover: Jody Houser (writer) and Marguerite Sauvage (fantasy sequence artist) have been part of the crew, but Meghan Hetrick (artist), Colleen Doran (artist), and Louise Simonson (writer) are new. In case you are confused, a trade paperback of a comic is several smaller Issues bound in one glossy, shelf-friendly collection. Thus, each Issue may have a different artist.
The plot of Superstar is largely about Zoe Hines, a red-headed teenage TV star who is struggling because she took photos of herself in her underwear and sent them to her boyfriend. Society proceeded to slut shame Zoe, leaving her willing to listen to an evil entity that wants to use Zoe to suck the energy out of people’s bodies and collect it. This is part of Issue #5. But Issue #5 also had two mini-stories, “Faith in Politics” and “No Days Off.” This happens once in a while in special edition Issues.
One mini comic is about Hillary Clinton and ends by asking readers to vote the following week. An even shorter (six pages) mini comic about criminals gathering weapons (“No Days Off”) also interrupts Faith and Zoe’s story. Thus, Issue #5 could have been interesting to read on it’s own if purchased singly, but gathered with Issues # 6, #7, and #8 in this trade paperback, the mini plots were a confusing interruption. Thankfully, Issue #6 takes us back to Zoe and Faith’s story. The team of people that created this evil entity tend to get in Faith’s way as she tries to convince Zoe that hurting people who shame her won’t make Zoe feel better.
Issues #7 and #8 tied directly together and are about Faith having to literally face the ghosts of friends and family who have died, for which Faith blames herself. Writer Jody Houser does a clever twist that takes readers back to Hollywood and Vine, making a nice little circle, which I so enjoy. My happiness emphasized for me how disruptive those special mini comics were! Doh!
I keep an eye on how Faith is drawn because Superstar has different artists. I want her to be her fat self. Pere Perez, who drew all the images in California Scheming and some in other Issues, seems to have Faith’s body right. She is fat from all angles, whether she’s sitting, standing, laying down, or flying. Unfortunately, Faith was dramatically slenderized in the hands of both Meghan Hetrick (Issue #6) and Joe Eisma (Issues #7 and #8):
Slowly, Faith is becoming a more socially acceptable fat women, which disappointed me. Sadly, Joe Eisma is the artist for most of the Issues in the fourth trade paperback, The Faithless. I’m hoping that he does her justice and doesn’t turn her into a sexual fantasy like most female superheros are, but my hopes are low. Superstar is still recommended, though I would advise readers to skip the mini comics in Issue #5 and save them for the end.