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Faith Takes Readers to Greater Heights in a New YA Novel

Faith: Greater Heights, the eagerly anticipated sequel to the popular young adult novel Faith: Taking Flight, arrives this November! A

New York Times bestselling author Julie Murphy returns to Faith Herbert’s world for an inspiring and exciting tale as the fan-favorite superhero experiences the last few weeks of her senior year in High School. She would love to wrap up her last year of school like a normal student – enjoy prom, hang out with her friends – but that isn’t so simple when you’re a hero! Along with her friends, Faith will uncover some big mysteries…

Check out the new cover, featuring art by Kat Goodloe and design by Jenna Stempel-Lobell below.

The conclusion to Faith’s YA adventure goes on sale November 2nd, 2021, and is currently available for pre-orderFaith: Taking Flight is available for purchase wherever books are sold. A paperback version of Taking Flight will be available on May 25th.

Faith: Greater Heights

Movie Review: Saint Maud offers a disturbing portrayal of faith and loneliness

Saint Maud
Saint Maud

Pay attention to the title of the movie Saint Maud. Really think about what it is that makes someone a saint. In fact, if you look up some of the key saints from Christianity you’ll find the path to sainthood is often paved in blood. Be it through obscure instances of violence or culpable sin, the title of saint is still considered as an undertaking of absolute faith with the good grace of God standing as its ultimate reward.

Rose Glass Saint Maud looks at all this through a different lens, employing psychological horror to produce one of the most disturbing explorations of faith, devotion, and mental illness in recent memory.

Written and directed by Glass, Saint Maud follows a young, pious nurse called Maud as she comes to terms with the meaning of her relationship with God. In essence, Maud lives to answer the question of what God wants with her. As she looks for answers, she’s assigned to take care of a woman dying of cancer. Maud believes she can save the troubled woman’s soul, but God seems to have a harder test in the works for her.

The movie’s most resounding successes rest on the shoulders of actress Morfydd Clark, who plays Maud. Clark masterfully captures the title character’s tug and pull with being both hopeful and lost at the same time. Clark plays Maud as a young woman constantly teetering between a full-blown mental breakdown or a divine revelation.

Maud is given brief but revealing bits of internal dialogue that keeps viewers informed on the latest developments on what she thinks God is asking of her. Morfydd’s narration does a great job of showing Maud’s frustrations with her lack of understanding, always aware of the mounting pressure she faces while trying to make sense of her situation.

Saint Maud plays a bit with what’s real and what’s inside the main character’s head, but it prefers the less ambiguous approach to what’s actually happening. There’s more evidence of Maud suffering from a severe mental illness rather than a fundamental crisis of faith. And yet, it’s her faith that wins out as the thing that guides her in this new phase of life as a recent convert. Maud wasn’t always religious. There’s an obscure trauma at play that the movie cleverly keeps pretty much under wraps. It’s what might explain how God has so completely taken a hold over her.

Saint Maud
Saint Maud

The manifestations of her faith do one very unique thing here that not many other horror movies can claim to do. It makes the movie unfold as a kind of possession story where God is the invading spirit. Maud’s religious devotion plays a central role here as her decision to give in to faith keeps her isolated from almost everyone else.

Glass’ script is careful not to overindulge with the supernatural elements, but whenever something gives the appearance of being otherworldly, the horror gets ramped up considerably. Glass does an excellent job of playing with shadows and dark corners without stripping a single scene of all color. In fact, the movie contains a very clear and solid color palette that serves to heighten the terror at the heart of Maud’s process.

This figures into Glass’ decision to put Maud in big open spaces that aren’t exactly crowded with people. Quite the opposite. Maud seems to live in a world devoid of meaningful human contact. This becomes an especially powerful source of pain while in the presence of male characters, none of which see Maud as someone worth being treated with care or respect. Maud’s world is hostile and even God is suspect.

Saint Maud has a lot of moving parts, each made more complex and disturbing thanks to the fact the element of faith serves as its source of horror. Clark’s performance elevates the story’s focus on the consequences of unchecked piousness with an eye to question not just religious behavior but also the effects it can have on a troubled mind. As far as explorations into these matters are concerned, Saint Maud stands as one of its greatest.

Faith Episode 2 is Out Now!

Valiant Entertainment has released the second episode of the Faith Motion Comic!

The first episode explored the origin of Faith Herbert, aka Zephyr, and the relationship with her first love and fellow Harbinger Renegade John Torkelson, aka Torque… but what’s next for the heroes and where will Faith’s adventures lead her? The second episode is now available to watch on Valiant Entertainment’s YouTube channel.

Plus: An action-packed motion comic featuring Bloodshot will arrive next week!

Faith’s motion comic series is pulled from the pages of Harbinger: Faith #0featuring a script by Joshua Dysart, artwork by Robert Gill and José Villarrubia, and letters by Dave Sharpe. See below for the motion comic’s credits.

Voice Actors
FAITH: Tamara Fritz
GRANDMA: Phoenix Emrys
TORQUE: Eric Shonk
COMIC SHOP OWNER: Joe Cliff Thompson
AGENT: Megan Youmans
FIREMAN: Kenneth Faircloth

Crew
Editor: Brian Paterno
Animator: Sam Warren
Audio Supervisor: Joe Thompson

Introducing Valiant Motion Comics: Watch Faith Episode #0 Part 1 Now!

Valiant Entertainment has revealed brand-new Motion Comics, and the debut episode is an adventure with the publisher’s most heroic and inspirational character: Faith!

Discover the origin of Faith Herbert, aka Zephyr, and a tale with her first love and fellow Harbinger Renegade John Torkelson, aka Torque. The first episode is now live on Valiant Entertainment’s YouTube channel and you can watch the nearly eight-minute-long story unfold, below.

This animated episode is taken straight from the pages of Harbinger: Faith #0featuring a script by Joshua Dysart, artwork by Robert Gill and José Villarrubia, and letters by Dave Sharpe. Keep an eye on Valiant’s YouTube channel for Part 2 of the story and more Motion Comics featuring other characters from the Valiant Universe.

Valiant and H3 Team for Sportgear featuring Bloodshot and Faith

Valiant Entertainment is partnering with H3 Sportgear to deliver an amazing collection of apparel that features fan-favorite characters Bloodshot and Faith!

Treat yourself to some fabulous fashion as H3 Sportgear, via its Pop Cult online store, is proud to offer an exclusive collection based on Valiant Entertainment’s breakout characters. There’s no better way to celebrate Valiant’s characters than wearing this comfy casualwear.

Available right now are two collections available through the Pop Cult online store: Faith Collection: Purchase and
Bloodshot Collection: Purchase

Underrated: Imperium

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: the comic book Imperium


When Valiant Entertainment relaunched in 2012, one of the four books that the publisher started with was Harbinger. Arguably one of Valiant’s signature books, the original series launched in the 90’s with the publisher’s first incarnation. I have never read the 90’s series in full, but have dabbled in an issue here or there (specifically the two that contained chapters of the multi-book crossover Unity). I have, however, read the entirety of the modern Harbinger run, and own a smattering of individual comics and the three deluxe hardcovers containing the story; Harbinger Deluxe Edition One, Harbinger  Deluxe Edition  Two and Harbinger Wars 
Deluxe Edition. Until very recently, I had not read Imperium. While I have had access to the review copies for years, I had long decided that I would rather read the story in print form so I was waiting to pick up the deluxe hard cover edition of Imperium from my LCS. A couple weeks ago, I finally ordered it.

It cost me $65 before taxes and it was worth every penny.

There are easy comparisons to make between the Harbinger story and that of the X-Men, between Toyo Harada and Magneto; an incredibly powerful man who wants peace at any cost. The truth is when I was reading the book there are obvious similarities to the X-Books. Especially now that the X-Men have their own nation state, which is where Imperium finds Toyo Harada and his Foundation.

Joshua Dysart pulls the sixteen issue story in from various places in the Valiant universe, touching upon characters that will be familiar if you have read the previous Harbinger run that I spoke about (again) last week. If you haven’t read those books it shouldn’t be a big deal – the story is told in a way that it can be read alone, but you’ll miss out on some context here and there (and a great build up) if you skip what came before.

Watching Harada build his nation state free of scarcity while fighting the countries that are trying to stop him over the course of sixteen issues is fascinating. We watch him take some extraordinary measures to ensure that he is left alone, and we wonder whether the man is truly as philanthropic and good as his ideal seems or is he as self serving as he sometimes appears?

Although the book is told from Harada’s perspective Dysart never quite leaves you confident that you should be rooting exclusively for him. Should he be stopped? Or does his means justify the ends?

What makes this such a great story is that Dysart has balanced the antagonists so well that nobody seems to be explicitly evil aside from a certain corporation out exclusively for profit, which illustrates the nobility behind Harada’s ideal while underscoring the capitalist nature of our society. There are so many different aspects to this story; the concept of artificial intelligence becoming sentient, does anybody ever truly have free will, the balance of sacrifice for progression of the greater good. What devils do you have to make a deal with?

When it comes to everybody else in this book you have to wonder whether you should root for anyone.

Joshua Dysart’s writing will educate you, encouraging you to think and develop yourself all while delivering one of the greatest stories in comics. That sentence was as true for Harbinger as it is for Imperium. He has a unique ability to distill a greater political and ideological idea down into a story that will never overwhelm a reader but also leaves you thinking about the nature of the politics involved long after the cover has been closed.

Whether this story is one told from the villain’s perspective as he tries to achieve his goals having convinced his followers they are doing the right thing or if it is story about a hero who faces insurmountable odds as he tries to make the world a better place will differ on how you read the book.

And that, for me, makes it an utter masterpiece.

This series is the subject of today’s Underrated because I had long heard how brilliant the story was from others who have read the book so I ended up reading the full run in almost a single sitting. And I realized that I seldom hear people talk about Valiant’s Harbinger comics or Toyo Harada. I hope that changes. Especially after the last week with the publisher focusing on the character this week.

Valiant Hero Of The Week: Faith

Every Monday for the next few weeks, Valiant Entertainment is running a poll on Twitter to provide fans with some escapism while new comics are in short supply. The poll allows Valiant fans the opportunity to select the “Hero Of The Week” from four choices. That week’s hero will then be the focus of free pdfs featuring the character, videos from Valiant staff, giveaways, and more. This week, the poll featured Faith, Ninjak, Roku, and Ivar, Timewalker.

This week’s winner was…

Faith

Who is she? Faith is the kind of character that you could meet at a convention and shoot the shit with. She’s a nerd that loves comics, DND, fantasy books and movies, and who just happens to be a young superhero by the name of Zephyr. But then since everybody seems to know Zephyr’s real name, Faith has a secret identity that is based entirely off what she thinks a hero should do in their off hours. Because Clark Kent is a reporter, Faith begins working at a newspaper an online gossip magazine because newspaper circulation is notoriously low these days.

When you’re reading a book with Faith, it’s very easy to see yourself in her. She’s a comic book fan who’s also a superhero. She has a history with the Harbinger Foundation (which you can read about in Harbinger), but it doesn’t define who she is; Faith is a happy, bubbly person who is more concerned with doing what’s right than she is almost anything else.

She’s the purest hero in the Valiant Universe.

What should you read?

Faith: Hollywood And Vine

Orphaned at a young age, Faith Herbert – a psionically gifted “psiot” discovered by the Harbinger Foundation – has always aspired to greatness. But now this once-ordinary teenager is taking control of her destiny and becoming the hard-hitting hero she’s always known she can be – complete with a mild-mannered secret identity, unsuspecting colleagues, and a day job as a reporter that routinely throws her into harm’s way! Well, at least she thought it would… When she’s not typing up listicles about cat videos, Faith makes a secret transformation to patrol the night as the City of Angels’ own leading superhero – the sky-soaring Zephyr!


Hollywood And Vine was actually my first introduction to Faith, and I quickly fell in love with the comic and the character. There’s a fantastic moment in the third issue of the series that finds Faith in a literal and metaphorical closet as trouble closes in around her. What she does, or doesn’t do next is one of the most interesting and fist bumpingly awesome moments I’ve read in awhile. This book starts Jody Houser’s run on the character, and it’s a really good run.

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXologyBookshop


Faith: California Scheming

In a city under siege by robots, aliens, monsters, and even worse… celebrities, there is only one woman the people of Los Angeles can count on: the stratospheric superhero called Faith! Aspiring reporter by day and dedicated crime-fighter by night, Faith has tackled every obstacle in her path with confidence – like those crushing deadlines at work, the long-distance boyfriend half a world away, and the missing back issues that plague her comics collection! But, unbeknownst to her, Faith is about to collide with the one force she never saw coming: an up-and-coming super-villain bent on snuffing her out once and for all! But who is lurking behind the mask of her new foe…and could they just be the one person capable of rendering Faith powerless?


After the magic of the miniseries, which you can read about above if you haven’t (though why you’d skip to a different heading, I’m not sure), Valiant began an ongoing series staring the character with the creative team in tact. This is another solid introduction to the character, but it doesn’t quite capture the magic of the first volume (in fairness, it was never going to be as good in my eyes because of the third issue of the mini), but it comes very close. This is a great follow up to Hollywood And Vine, and one I have no hesitation in recommending.

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXologyBookshop


Faith And The Future Force

Faith “Zephyr” Herbert – former member of Unity, current Harbinger Renegade, and Los Angeles’ #1 superhero – is the universe’s last, best chance at survival! Centuries from today, a devious artificial intelligence has unleashed a blistering attack on the very foundations of time…one that is unwriting history from beginning to end! Now, with her options exhausted, Neela Sethi, Timewalker – the self-appointed protector of what is and will be – has returned to the 21st century to recruit Earth’s greatest champions of today and tomorrow to oppose this existential threat…and she needs Faith to lead them! But why Faith? And why now?


I’m a sucker for time travel stories. I’ll make no apologies for that. So when this came along with Faith and a really well crafted four issue miniseries that takes moments from the classic Bill Murray flick Groundhog Day and strains them through a superhero filter. It would be fun enough on its own, but when you add Faith’s nerd cred to the story, the entire thing becomes what can only be described as organized chaos. It’s a really fun yarn, and introduces you to Neela Sethi and Ank if you haven’t read Ivar, Timewalker already as the pair try and stop a universe ending threat dozens of times…

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXologyBookshop


It’s worth noting that you can get Deluxe Editions of many of these stories that collect what amounts to three trades in a hardcover. They are comparatively better valued, but present a higher initial cost (based on standard retail pricing not including sales and discounts). They’re my personal preference.


This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Our Favorite Faith Covers

The super team Faith gets the spotlight this week as the winner of Valiant‘s “Hero of the Week. Fans chose the team over Ninjak, Roku, and Ivar, Timewalker, and we (well, me) thought it would be a great chance to highlight some of our favorite covers featuring the character. All of these covers will be post the 2012 relaunch of Valiant and are shown in no particular order.

The below covers are some of the most striking, iconic or just plain cool images featuring Faith.

Sound off on your favorite covers below!

Valiant Hero Of The Week: Ninjak, Faith, Roku and Ivar, Timewalker

Every Monday for the next few weeks, Valiant Entertainment is running a poll on their Twitter feed to provide fans with some escapism while new comics are in short supply. The poll allows Valiant fans the opportunity to select the Hero Of The Week from four choices – this week, the poll features Ninjak, Faith, Roku and Ivar, Timewalker. That week’s hero will then be the focus of free pdfs featuring the character, videos from Valiant staff, giveaways and more.

At Graphic Policy, we’re going to be running a spotlight on the winning character all week through various features depending on the character, but at the very least you’ll see our favorite covers and stories.

But Valiant has a lot of great characters, and it’d be a shame to not let you know which stories to read to get to know some of them a little more in case they don’t end up winning the fan vote. This week’s characters are a prime example of this, and the exact reason that we wanted to shine a little light on all four ahead of the week.

Below you’ll find a brief snapshot of the character and a trade paperback or two to check out. For fun, I’ll also note who I think is most likely to win (bear in mind this is being written on Sunday).

Ninjak

Who is he? A blend of Batman and James Bond. Colin King is at the peak of human conditioning, both physical and mental, has access to near limitless financial resources, and also works on contract for MI6 as a high tech ninja operative. If you’re looking for something familiar from Valiant, then you’d think that Ninjak would scratch the Batman itch, but unlike Batman, Ninjak has no problem using his weapons to their full deadly potential. Although Ninjak has yet to feature in a movie, he was the star of Ninjak Vs. The Valiant Universe, a webseries produced by Bat In The Sun that you can probably find on Youtube now. My money would be on Ninjak taking the week.

What should you read? Ninjak: Weaponeer. This collection covers the first five issues of Ninjak’s Valiant Entertainment relaunch, and is written by Matt Kindt and features Clay Mann, Butch Guice, and Juan Jose Ryp‘s artistic talents. This is where you’ll want to go for your introduction to the character, despite his first appearance coming in an issue of X-O Manowar a couple of years prior. We’re (re)introduced to Colin King and discover how he became Ninjak in flashbacks that twin with the present as King hunts down the Shadow Seven. It’s a spy thriller in the vein of James Bond, but starring a character who is closer to Batman than most other agents.

Purchase: Amazon (Hardcover)Amazon (Paperback)KindlecomiXologyBookshopTFAW

Faith

Who is she? Valiant’s resident comic book fan who develops super powers, Faith Herbert is all of us in some form or another. Her alter ego, Summer, is based entirely on what Faith thinks a superhero should be. She uses the codename Zephyr as a superhero, which means that Faith is trying her best to be who she things she should be, rather than who she is – which all comes to a head in a certain scene in Holywood and Vine. For a time, Faith was being pushed as Valiant’s Next Big Thing, and I totally understand that, but unfortunately she didn’t resonate as well with readers as she perhaps could have.

What should you read? Faith: Hollywood and Vine is the character’s debut miniseries, and has one of my all-time favorite scenes in the book. Jody Houser takes every comic trope regarding secret identities you can think of and the laughs. It’s the single thing I keep thinking about when rereading this book, and her act makes me question other heroes who won’t do the same.

Despite Faith featuring in the utterly phenomenal Harbinger series, it is her solo miniseries that really propels the character forward – and it doesn’t hurt that the story is really cool.

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXologyBookshop

Roku

Who is she? One of Ninjak’s rogues gallery, Roku is an assassin with the ability to control her steel-like hair. A former MI:6 agent, she has a deep history with Ninjak that she barely remembers.

What should you read? Honestly, the best thing you can read actually prominently features Ninjak because up until Roku had her own miniseries, she was used as a villain in the Ninjak series. That miniseries… well it was okay, but it isn’t one I’d recommend as the best thing to read featuring the character, so instead check out Ninjak: Weaponeer. Yes, that’s the same book I mentioned above, but because Roku isn’t the protagonist, her story isn’t the focal point of the series, so if you want to at least enjoy what you’re reading of her, it helps to understand the story itself.

Purchase: Amazon (Hardcover)Amazon (Paperback)KindlecomiXologyBookshopTFAW

Ivar, Timewalker

Who is he? The older brother of the immortals Armstrong and Eternal Warrior, or Aram and Gilad Anni-Padda, Ivar is an incredibly intelligent man who has the ability to hop through time portals from one era to the next. Ivar reminds me of Doctor Who in someways, done only as Valiant can. Ivar’s time travelling can mean he visits his brothers every couple of jumps, which could easily mean a good couple hundred years between sights of Ivar if you’re Gilad or Aram. It’s a fun aspect to the brother’s relationship that’s played well in the below series.

What should you read? Ivar, Timewalker: Making History is the only real series that features Ivar with anything more than a cameo or featured appearance. It also happens to be one of my favorite comic book stories from Valiant or any publisher. It’s definitely the best time-traveling comic I’ve read, in part because you can start with any of the three volumes and still get a fantastic story so long as you read in consecutive order. Whether you’re reading 1, 2, 3, or 3,1,2 you’re in for an absolutely fantastic piece of comic book storytelling.

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXologyBookshopTFAW


This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Underrated: Imperium

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: the comic book Imperium


When Valiant Entertainment relaunched in 2012, one of the four books that the publisher started with was Harbinger. Arguably one of Valiant’s signature books, the original series launched in the 90’s with the publisher’s first incarnation. I have never read the 90’s series in full, but have dabbled in an issue here or there (specifically the two that contained chapters of the multi-book crossover Unity). I have, however, read the entirety of the modern Harbinger run, and own a smattering of individual comics and the three deluxe hardcovers containing the story; Harbinger Deluxe Edition One, Harbinger  Deluxe Edition  Two and Harbinger Wars 
Deluxe Edition. Until very recently, I had not read Imperium. While I have had access to the review copies for years, I had long decided that I would rather read the story in print form so I was waiting to pick up the deluxe hard cover edition of Imperium from my LCS. A couple weeks ago, I finally ordered it.

It cost me $65 before taxes and it was worth every penny.

There are easy comparisons to make between the Harbinger story and that of the X-Men, between Toyo Harada and Magneto; an incredibly powerful man who wants peace at any cost. The truth is when I was reading the book there are obvious similarities to the X-Books. Especially now that the X-Men have their own nation state, which is where Imperium finds Toyo Harada and his Foundation.

Joshua Dysart pulls the sixteen issue story in from various places in the Valiant universe, touching upon characters that will be familiar if you have read the previous Harbinger run that I spoke about (again) last week. If you haven’t read those books it shouldn’t be a big deal – the story is told in a way that it can be read alone, but you’ll miss out on some context here and there (and a great build up) if you skip what came before.

Watching Harada build his nation state free of scarcity while fighting the countries that are trying to stop him over the course of sixteen issues is fascinating. We watch him take some extraordinary measures to ensure that he is left alone, and we wonder whether the man is truly as philanthropic and good as his ideal seems or is he as self serving as he sometimes appears?

Although the book is told from Harada’s perspective Dysart never quite leaves you confident that you should be rooting exclusively for him. Should he be stopped? Or does his means justify the ends?

What makes this such a great story is that Dysart has balanced the antagonists so well that nobody seems to be explicitly evil aside from a certain corporation out exclusively for profit, which illustrates the nobility behind Harada’s ideal while underscoring the capitalist nature of our society. There are so many different aspects to this story; the concept of artificial intelligence becoming sentient, does anybody ever truly have free will, the balance of sacrifice for progression of the greater good. What devils do you have to make a deal with?

When it comes to everybody else in this book you have to wonder whether you should root for anyone.

Joshua Dysart’s writing will educate you, encouraging you to think and develop yourself all while delivering one of the greatest stories in comics. That sentence was as true for Harbinger as it is for Imperium. He has a unique ability to distill a greater political and ideological idea down into a story that will never overwhelm a reader but also leaves you thinking about the nature of the politics involved long after the cover has been closed.

Whether this story is one told from the villain’s perspective as he tries to achieve his goals having convinced his followers they are doing the right thing or if it is story about a hero who faces insurmountable odds as he tries to make the world a better place will differ on how you read the book.

And that, for me, makes it an utter masterpiece.

This series is the subject of today’s Underrated because I had long ehard how brilliant the story was from others who have read the book so I ended up reading the full run in almost a single sitting. And I realized that I seldom hear people talk about Valiant’s Harbinger comics, or Toyo Harada. I hope that changes.

Almost American
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