What would you sacrifice to see your dreams come true? This is what Azzarello and Llovet ask in the season ending of Faithless from BOOM! Studios. After six exhilarating chapters Faith’s journey is coming to an end. Or is it really the beginning?
Warning: Faithless is abound with adult content and is definitely not safe for work. It’s a no holds barred erotic adventure that takes a few unexpected turns.
Azzarello has taken Faith on a journey of enlightenment, sexually and artistically, since the first issue. He has surrounded the central character with new highs, exceptional experiences but also doubt and unbelievable loss. This final issue is no different.
Opening with a full frontal sex scene that leaves nothing to the imagination, Azzarello tests not only the characters boundaries but also the readers. By now the contents of Faithless should not be shocking, you know exactly what you’re getting before you pull back the cover. Having said that this issue definitely pushes as far as it can go.
The reason Faithless isn’t just sex for sex sake is that everything that happens, each element of the narrative, is important for character development. Therefore, you may think the opening sequence is over the top and unnecessary but as the issue progresses Azzarello makes you understand that it is all apart of Faith’s growth. She is being tested and pushed to become the very best that she can be. This issue sees Faith being offered a choice and the decision she makes relates to the sexual experimentation as much as the artistic and personal development.
This series has been about a character embracing a brand new world in order to become something she has dreamed about. For some she has gone too far, for others not far enough. It is up to the reader to decide if Faith has been manipulated down a particular path and if it’s the correct path to follow. The reader has an advantage because they can see what has happened around Faith much better than she can but when the devil comes calling, would you be tempted?
Without question the gorgeous artwork makes the seductive narrative believable. With the sweeping images flowing from panel to panel it’s perfectly clear that Faith is being swept along by the beauty and magic of the moment. Maria Llovet draws Faiths world with such an eye for attraction and seduction that the images suck you into the panels. The reader is caught up by the same sensual eroticism that has bewitched Faith. It is so easy to forget the horrific things that have happened.
The visual journey through this comic is a delight. Llovet’s inks are free and loose with colors that are bright and alluring. Sequences of panels dance across the pages with the images breaking the borders, blurring the lines and removing some of the stability of time. This heightens the dreamlike quality of the work and advances the magical elements.
The final element stamping home the otherworldly feel of the comic is the superb lettering by AndWorld Design. In this issue there are some outstanding musical lyrics woven into the fabric of the pages. They break all of the rules of the comic book, sweeping across the panels, borders, and gutters with wild abandon.
The large, colorful text helps to set the scene and mood. It also draws attention to the narration spoken above the images. The contrast between the garish lyrics and the small, white text in a black caption box immediately creates a juxtaposition on the page making the reader look for hidden meanings and depths.
Faithless is a thought provoking, love letter to fashion, theatre, and Art. The creators have clearly enjoyed crafting the magical world of lovers and inner demons, and the resulting comic is mesmerising and beautiful.
Azzarello and Llovet have embraced the adult nature of the story and not shied away for depicting scenes that aren’t often found in mainstream comics, especially in America and the UK. The erotic scenes, some might say pornographic, are not exploitative and serve a narrative purpose. It won’t be to everybody’s taste but the industry is better for having a diverse range of material available.
Issue six of Faithless is a beautiful, if a somewhat down beat, ending to the first act. And just like the central character, the reader is taken on an unexpected, exhilarating journey.