Tag Archives: mj kim

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

Preview: Faith: Dreamside #4 (of 4)

Faith: Dreamside #4 (of 4)

Written by JODY HOUSER
Art by MJ KIM
Cover A by MARGUERITE SAUVAGE
Cover B by SIBYLLINE MEYNET

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?

Faith: Dreamside #4 (of 4)

Review: Faith: Dreamside #3

FAITH_DS_003_COVER-A_SAUVAGEWhat dreams may come?

Welcome to the Dreamside, a magical realm where oddities dwell and imaginations thrive. But is this unusual new paradise truly all that it seems on the surface? Together, Faith and Doctor Mirage are about to find that behind the frills and fantasy, there may lurk nightmares…and they’re hunting for Animalia!

Jody Houser‘s run on Faith has been long – twenty issues over two four part mini series and a twelve issue ongoing, not counting Faith: Dreamside  and I can honestly say I have enjoyed each and every issue since the first miniseries flew off the shelves and into my hands. Some more than others, but not one has been a waste of my $4.

When it comes to the visuals that have accompanied Houser’s writing, the same isn’t quite as true. Most of the art I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, but some has been a touch hit or miss for me – but then art is always subjective, and where I may not find some of the comics to be as appealing to the eye as others, that doesn’t mean that you will agree with me.

Case in point, this issue. The art is technically very solid; MJ Kim uses an anime inspired style for much of the comic, which is very in keeping with the story and the events occurring on the page, and while the style usually wouldn’t quite be my cup of tea, I do appreciate its use in this issue as it highlights certain aspects of the Dreamside. As Faith and Doctor Mirage traverse the land of the dead, they’re exposed to a world where the natural rules don’t always apply – is the land inspired by those living within it, or does this part of the Dreamside just happen to be oddly bright and pleasant? The question is answered, at least visually, within the first few pages of the comic, and it’s a revelation  that I really enjoyed – and probably found it far more surprising than I really should have, if I am being completely honest.

Faith: Dreamsidehas become a fun diversion in the Valiant Universe after the rather chaotic and at times lackluster results of Harbinger Wars II, reminding fans and readers alike just what the company is capable of when not trying to write the next Epic Crossover event. Within this issue we see some brilliantly subtle nods to pop culture (and some pretty overt ones as befits the characters of Faith and Animalia), a condensed yet suitably epic journey and confrontation with a conclusion that sets up the fourth and final issue in the series magnificently. I can honestly say I didn’t expect to enjoy this story as much as I currently am.

Story: Jody Houser Art: MJ Kim
Colours: Jordie Bellaire Letters: Dave Sharpe
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.2 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Faith: Dreamside #3 (of 4)

FAITH: DREAMSIDE #3 (of 4)

Written by JODY HOUSER
Art by MJ KIM
Cover A by MARGUERITE SAUVAGE
Cover B by SIBYLLINE MEYNET

What dreams may come?

Welcome to the Dreamside, a magical realm where oddities dwell and imaginations thrive. But is this unusual new paradise truly all that it seems on the surface? Together, Faith and Doctor Mirage are about to find that behind the frills and fantasy, there may lurk nightmares…and they’re hunting for Animalia!

Don’t stray too far from the light, because Eisner-nominated writer Jody Houser (Mother Panic) and rising star MJ Kim (FAITH’S WINTER WONDERLAND SPECIAL #1) are conjuring up some truly terrifying scares for Valiant’s highest-soaring hero!

$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On Sale NOVEMBER 28th

Preview: Faith: Dreamside #2

FAITH: DREAMSIDE #2 (of 4)

Written by JODY HOUSER
Art by MJ KIM
Colors by JORDIE BELLAIRE
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover A by MARGUERITE SAUVAGE
Cover B by SIBYLLINE MEYNET
Pre-Order Edition by DAVID LAFUENTE

Don’t go to sleep…

Something strange in your neighborhood? Renowned ghost whisperer Shan Fong Mirage knows how to fix it. But it’s going to take more than stories of supernatural-tinged nightmares to convince her that the young psiot Animalia truly needs her spiritual guidance… Now it’s up to Faith, L.A.’s highest-flying hero and Doctor Mirage’s number one fangirl, to get the world’s leading parapsychologist to take the case!

Renowned writer Jody Houser (Doctor Who) and rising star MJ Kim (FAITH’S WINTER WONDERLAND SPECIAL #1) prepare Valiant’s fan-favorite defender for an adventure through the land of dreams!

$3.99 | 32 pgs. |  T+ | On Sale OCTOBER 31st

Review: Faith: Dreamside #1

Faith: Dreamside’s first issue primarily sets up groundwork for what is hopefully going to be a more interesting storyline. With only the series name and a brief mention of ghosts to go on, one is left to wonder where this story might go? A quick Google search explains that Faith will be entering another realm for this adventure, the Dreamside, but it’s still a mystery as to what it may hold.

This series picks up after Faith has been framed for murder, so if you’re not caught up, that’s not a huge issue here. The story does a great job of filling in background work. That’s part of its problem though. It’s more so about recalling the past and setting up the future than living in the present. There was one glimpse of humor in a scene where Faith escapes the police with the help of a familiar face—and that leaves hope there might be more to come.

In classic Faith fashion, the art more or less follows the traditional Faith we all know and love. It’s light-hearted, charming and fun. Simple scenes like Faith with her hair wrapped up in a towel, a mundane task and a simple side note left by the artist, makes living in her world just that much more real for readers. It’s in these scenes Faith is at her best. Not a day reporter or a superhero but just a woman in her apartment hanging out.

If you’re wondering whether or not you should pick this issue up, I’d wait for the collection bundle if you’re truly a fan. This particular issue doesn’t offer much but a slow build. We can only hope that the issues to follow will offer more and be worth the wait.

Story: Jody Houser Art: MJ Kim
Colors: Jordie Bellaire Letterer: Dave Sharpe

Review: Faith: Dreamside #1

FAITH_DS_001_COVER-A_SAUVAGEEven before Faith Herbert, AKA Zephyr, gained the power of flight, joined the Harbinger Renegades, and soared through the skies of the Valiant Universe, deep down she was always a hero at heart. But what’s a hero to do in the face of a foe that exists only in nightmares? Face them head-on, of course! To protect the dreams of her teammate, Animalia, Faith must venture into a fantastical new realm the likes of which we’ve never seen…and she’ll need some help from the world’s premiere parapsychologist, Dr. Mirage, to make it back with her subconscious mind still intact!

One of my favourite things about Faith, and specifically how Jody Houser writes her, is that there is a genuine sense of happiness that she is a superhero. Which gives this comic a really uplifting vibe as Faith’s positivity and optimism is still very much present and a part of her character despite the dark times she’s going through (y’know, being framed for murder and all isn’t overly fun).

Faith was one of the series that I was most excited to read when it was being published, and Houser has been able to effortlessly recapture everything I loved about that series in one issue. For those of you who, like me, missed Faith’s solo series (and the Future Force spin off) then you’re going to be super happy with this comic’s direction. You’ll also be happy with MJ Kim‘s artwork. Kim’s style is suite perfectly toward the highflying superhero, and easily veers from a wide eyed innocence to panels that convey more emotional weight than you would expect given the text around them.

And this is all in the first half of the book (it gets better, too, but you’ll need to read that for yourself).

Faith: Dreamside #1 took me by surprise when I read it (so much so that it took me a week to finally sort my thoughts out on it). I always try to go into each comic without any expectations, but I’m only human – Dreamside exceeded the expectations I had for it. This book was a genuine pleasure to read from cover to cover, and reminded me once again why I love reading comics.

Story: Jody Houser Art: MJ Kim
Colours: Jordie Bellaire Letters: Dave Sharpe
Story: 8.9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Faith: Dreamside #1

FAITH: DREAMSIDE #1 (of 4)

Written by JODY HOUSER
Art by MJ KIM
Colors by JORDIE BELLAIRE
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover A by MARGUERITE SAUVAGE
Cover B by SIBYLLINE MEYNET
Variant Cover by ADAM POLLINA
Blank Cover Also Available
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On Sale SEPTEMBER 26

ALL-NEW SERIES! Faith enters a realm previously unseen!

Even before Faith Herbert, AKA Zephyr, gained the power of flight, joined the Harbinger Renegades, and soared through the skies of the Valiant Universe, deep down she was always a hero at heart. But what’s a hero to do in the face of a foe that exists only in nightmares? Face them head-on, of course! To protect the dreams of her teammate, Animalia, Faith must venture into a fantastical new realm the likes of which we’ve never seen…and she’ll need some help from the world’s premiere parapsychologist, Dr. Mirage, to make it back with her subconscious mind still intact!

This fall, uncover the secrets of the Dreamside as writer extraordinaire Jody Houser (FAITH, Star Wars: Thrawn) and rising star MJ Kim (FAITH’S WINTER WONDERLAND SPECIAL #1) continue the adventures of the high-flying icon that Uproxx calls “A joy to read!”

Preview: Britannia: Lost Eagles of Rome #3 (of 4)

BRITANNIA: LOST EAGLES OF ROME #3 (of 4)

Written by PETER MILLIGAN
Art by ROBERT GILL with JUAN CASTRO and BRIAN THIES
Colors by JOSÉ VILLARRUBIA with ANDREW DALHOUSE
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover A by DAVID MACK
Cover B by MJ KIM
Variant Cover by ANDRES GUINALDO
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | VALIANT PRESTIGE | T+ | On Sale SEPTEMBER 19

Where have the eagles landed?

Antonius Axia has survived the wilds of Britain and witnessed the horrors of his own homeland…and now, the trail of Emperor Nero’s stolen eagles relics has led him and gladiatrix Achillia to the newly annexed province of Egypt! But, those who once held power in the Fertile Crescent might not be so quick to welcome them…or any other nosy Romans, for that matter!

Renowned writer Peter Milligan (Detective Comics) and fan-favorite artist Robert Gill (X-O MANOWAR) follow the LOST EAGLES OF ROME into dangerous territory – and unleash a terrible new threat on the ancient world!

Valiant Sails into Baltimore Comic-Con 2018 with Exclusives, Panels, and More!

There are only a few short weeks before Baltimore Comic-Con, and Valiant is poised to take Maryland’s biggest pop culture convention by storm with a sensational slate of panels, signings, and more – starting with the publisher’s limited-edition exclusives!

From Friday, September 28th through Sunday, September 30th, stop by Booth #2006 inside the Baltimore Convention Center to discover why Valiant is one of the most critically acclaimed publishers in the comic book industry with a robust selection of trade paperbacks and deluxe hardcovers!

While you’re there, be sure to check out Valiant’s highly limited Baltimore-exclusive offerings!

First up, don’t miss the Faith: Dreamside #1 Baltimore Comic-Con Exclusive Variant by Eisner-nominated artist Steve Conley! From celebrated writer Jody Houser and rising star artist MJ Kim comes the first issue of a spooky new limited series that marks Faith’s triumphant return to comic book store shelves – and her very first team-up with the Death-Defying Doctor Mirage!

Next, a new journey into the unknown begins with the X-O Manowar #19 Baltimore Comic-Con Exclusive Variant, featuring dazzling artist Jason Metcalf! Eisner-nominated writer Matt Kindt joins forces with incendiary artist Juan José Ryp for an all-new arc and new jumping-on point for Valiant’s flagship ongoing series, as the armored Visigoth Aric of Dacia faces off against a new otherworldly threat to Earth!

Plus, Valiant’s got a double dose of incredible panel presentations lined up for the weekend! On Saturday, September 29th from 2:45 to 3:45 pm ET in Room 333-344, join some of the talented people behind Valiant’s slate of critically acclaimed comic series for a candid, behind-the-scenes panel discussion in Valiant: The Craft of Comics! Find out just what it takes to put together a compelling story from start to finish, how to make your series stand apart, and how the editorial process functions at the highest levels – from the award-winning industry veterans behind the Valiant Universe’s greatest hits!

Then, on Sunday, September 30th from 1:45 to 2:45pm ET in Room 339-342, get all your Valiant questions answered at the Valiant: 101 and Beyond panel! New to the Valiant Universe? With Valiant’s all-new and exciting “BEYOND” initiative approaching at the end of 2018, there’s never been a better time to become a fan! Jump on board right here with a concise and fun-filled introduction to the origins and adventures of Valiant’s greatest and most iconic heroes!

And don’t forget: The #ValiantVisits Initiative is currently in full swing! From now until the end of the 2018 convention season and beyond, the hardest-working sales team in comics will be dropping in with local retailers all across the country to talk shop, share updates, and give away some awesome swag! Keep your eye on the #ValiantVisits hashtag on both Facebook and Twitter to see where Valiant will be stopping next!

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