Faith: Superstar #superhero #comicbook

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!

Sidney Pierce, a reality TV star who dated Faith’s former boyfriend and teammate, returns after being introduced in Hollywood and Vine.

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):

Pere Perez’s version of Faith has a round face (even when she looks up at the ceiling) and big belly.
Meghan Hetrick keeps Faith’s round face but trims away much of her belly so it’s flatter.
Joe Eisma gets rid of Faith’s round face and belly altogether, making her straight-sized, just verging on “Lane Bryant fat.” *NOTE: Faith is blonde here because she’s not wearing her wig and glasses disguise.

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.

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12 comments

  1. I’ve liked what Faith I’ve found online but I’m a bit disconcerted by her apparent changes of age. I reckon Faith on the covers is 20 years older than the Joe Eisma Faith. One comment about one of the earlier illustrations, I put my hands above my head precisely to give my stomach an illusion of flatness.

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    • I’m not sure how old she’s supposed to be. The comic doesn’t mention (at least not in the Faith-specific comics). She was in another comic as a minor character, and maybe it’s clear there, but I don’t plan to read those books.

      I have more arguments to make about how Faith’s body is drawn for my last Faith review tomorrow.

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  2. It’s great to hear there are more women involved in the creative process, as they’re woefully underrepresented in the world of comics. On the other hand, it’s such a shame they’re proving so inconsistent with Faith’s body image.

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  3. It’s a shame that they are drawing Faith so inconsistently. The story doesn’t sound quite as compelling to me as the last one, but I like the idea of Faith trying to help someone resist the desire to get revenge.

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    • I’m not sure why a comic publisher would hire different artists to render the same character, but they have. I know it some comic books they have one artist who does scenery, one to do people, one to do interiors, etc. Those are big-name comics, though.

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