Carly Lane
April 11, 2016 10:55 am
Valiant Comics

For the first time, a plus-sized superhero is starring in her own monthly series! Valiant Comics announced last week that Faith, which had previously been released as a five-issue limited comic, has been flying high enough to earn a monthly title starting in July.

Faith (who takes on the name Zephyr when she’s moonlighting as a superhero) is what the series refers to as a “psiot,” and was first introduced in the ’90s, then brought up again in the Harbingers series published by Valiant, and then again in 2016 with her five-issue special. Her superhero ability? The power of flight. When she’s not saving the world, she works as a contributor for a popular website under the alias “Summer Smith.” Valiant editor-in-chief, Warren Simons, summed Faith up saying, “Faith is one of the most unique characters in comics – a sci-fi loving, Firefly-quoting fangirl that wound up standing shoulder-to-shoulder alongside some of the most powerful superheroes on Earth, who, at the end of the day, might just prove herself to be the bravest of them all.”

The popularity of the five-issue series among fans understandably stems from a number of things, one of which is Faith’s aforementioned identity as a fangirl (the series drops pop culture references left and right). This often manifests as Summer/Faith fantasizing about meeting handsome actors in her guise as a superhero — we so get it. One of the comics’ ongoing jokes is a reference to a “Chris Chriswell” — who we’re pretty sure is an amalgam of all the gorgeous men named Chris in Hollywood (Evans, Hemsworth, etc.).

Since its January release, many fans have shared stories about what the series means to them — like providing people with the opportunity to cosplay a plus-sized character, or the importance of positively representing and rendering a plus-sized woman in a comic book.

Oh, did we mention the fact that Faith is the first female plus-sized superhero in a mainstream comic series written by a female author? Jody Houser, who has also lent her talents to the Orphan Black comic, wrote the original five-issue series and is returning for the ongoing issues. She’ll be joined by returning artist Marguerite Sauvage as well as new artist Pere Perez!

In a press release on the announcement, Valiant CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani said, “Finally, the world is realizing what we at Valiant have known all along: that in a medium populated by characters that can often seem dark and cynical, Faith represents a ray of hope and optimism that resonates far beyond the printed page alone. She truly is a hero in every sense of the word and, at her core, she represents the best that superheroes and comics as a whole have to offer to the world.”

Faith will also make it to Hollywood, being featured in a forthcoming movies from Sony Pictures that will include Valiant characters. A plus-size heroine on the page and on the big screen? It’s an amazing and positive step in the right direction.

(images via Valiant Comics)

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