Review: Faith: Dreamside #4

A nightmare dressed like a daydream!

A young girl’s soul hangs in the balance as Faith Herbert and Doctor Mirage take on the terrifying demon Belu, who seeks to break through the Dreamside barrier into our world! Will Faith find it in herself to reignite her dream of becoming a hero – or will humanity be doomed to sleepless nights forever?

I’ve often found that four issue miniseries tend to suffer from a lot of build up and a rushed conclusion (or very little conclusion as the publisher wants to hook you into the second miniseries or trade paperback). Thankfully, and happily, that’s not the case here as Jody Houser closes out the story fantastically well. There are several emotional payoffs in the issue, and each one could have easily served as the conclusion to the book.

But this is titled as a Faith book, and so fittingly we end with the high flying super hero having her own self-revelation that serves as a brilliant cap on Jody Houser’s run up to this point, and allows her to take Faith in a fresh direction (mostly) unencumbered by the past.

Complimenting the writing is MJ Kim‘s superb anime-tinged artwork that is brought to a vivid life by Jordie Bellaire‘s colouring. There’s a lot to unpack when it comes to the art, and there’s very little justice that I can do to the versatility and intelligently crafted pages with only words. Instead, think about your favourite food. Whether that’s pizza, a Greek salad or a bacon cheeseburger drizzled with peanut butter (don’t knock it till you’ve tried it), whatever makes your mouth water. Think of that. Now that you’ve got your food, imagine that you’re pretty damn hungry, and you’ve… yeah, I’ve lost where I was going with this. In short, the art is striking. Kim’s page layouts, and the use of negative space between the panels is as powerful a story device as the imagery within the frames.

Houser’s run on Faith has been a personal highlight, and while I genuinely and sincerely hope she continues, if she doesn’t then this is a great way to move on (but seriously, Jody, please don’t go anywhere!). The hallmarks of a great Faith book are all here; the references to pop culture, Faith’s unique way of dealing with a situation that flies in the face of established tropes, and a genuine happiness that emanates from the pages; regardless of the story content, reading this comic just made me feel happy. This is what comics can do for you; push away the blues and remind you why you fell in love with comics in the first place.

Story: Jody Houser Art: MJ Kim
Colours: Jordie Bellaire Letters Dave Sharpe
Story: 9.2 Art: 9 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review