What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Faith #1! After everything we have gotten out of this title so far, it only make sense that this creative team would have planned for a Faith one-shot. There was no better place to tell this story than now considering where we ended with the previous issue too. I for one was excited for this issue because this is our time to see what is going to be so different about Faith’s place in the Buffyverse this time around.
This isn’t to say that the previous issues of Buffy didn’t already show us how different they planned to approach telling Faith’s story this time around, but right now all we know about Faith is what we are seeing in the present. What we don’t know is what kind of past this Faith had which makes her so much less problematic and self-destructive than she was in the tv series, or even the Dark Horse books. This was something that they wasted no time showing us, even though it took some time for us to fully understand the story they were trying to weave through her past. What we did know about Faith already from current events was that the Council was actually aware of her. Though with that said, this didn’t tell us too much about what that was supposed to mean specifically. Did they meet her ahead of sticking her with Wesley and sending her off to Sunnydale? Was she prepped like Kendra for when the time would arise to take over for Buffy? Answers like these remains up in the air till this issue dropped.
The answer to that was quite shocking. Again it took some time to find the clarity to what story they were trying to tell, but it was worth being patient for. There may be some readers who will end up a bit lost by what takes place in this issue, and I can’t exactly fault them for this. They cycle us through a series of events that leave you confused about the intentions. Especially when things come into perspective and you maybe have to double back just to make sure you were reading into things the way you were supposed to. Faith’s experience with vampires is everything that you would call unorthodox.
Now what really had my attention was seeing just where we were supposed to see Faith falling back on old habits and morals to guide her. I can’t say that this was something we were seeing much of in the main storyline, so it made you wonder where we were supposed to be seeing this in her origin story. While that isn’t an answer you’re to expect from this issue specifically, they do give us clues as to where that problem with behaving would come into play. I couldn’t say that I was surprised to see that everything comes back to the Council, but for this reboot of Buffy it seems that they want to make the Council more integral to everything which either goes right or very wrong in the supernatural world. The approach towards making this point was clever since this time around everything questionable about Faith’s past is now orchestrated, and not just a matter of being unfortunate.
That said, like most of the one-shots we have gotten up to this point, I was blown away by the work by the art team involved. Again it hit hard because you see the quality of work that these artists bring to the table, knowing that you are going to go back to another style of art which just doesn’t match up to what you were getting from just that single issue. The pencil work is detailed, the range of colors is beautiful, and they do things to create supernatural effects and atmosphere which makes it hard to not feel immersed in the story. Through the color choice in particular they were even able to take us to a dark place that we have not been able to go in previous issues. I especially loved this one thing the colorist did where you would have this mostly colorless panel and they would focus on those one or two things which would be in color and pull your attention instantly towards what was about to happen next.
Overall, the secrets of Faith the Vampire Slayer was worth dedicating an issue too. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Faith #1 gave us plenty to look forward to as Faith’s involvement in Sunnydale matters grows.