[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
Faith reflects on losing her parents as a child as she and Doctor Mirage enter what they believe to be the Deadside on their search for Animalia. However, what they find is a fairytale-like landscape with smiling flowers and bright sunshine. Meanwhile, Animalia is in a cavern and being taunted by malevolent spirits. Faith and Mirage begin their search cautiously, but they are soon confronted by bizarre threats and familiar faces. Can they survive this realm and save Monica?
Faith: Dreamside #3 brings its heroes and the reader to a strange place which looks, as Faith accurately describes, very Lisa Frank.
The innocent appearance belies a mysterious and dangerous reality underneath, and the comic frequently hints at that even before the Transformer that looks like the Blue-Eyes White Dragon from Yu-Gi-Oh appears.
The comic spends a lot of time on the strange, children’s fairytale setting, which does leave the rest of the story feeling like it doesn’t make it very far. There are some twists and turns thrown in, but we don’t get the impression that Faith and Mirage make it particularly far in their search for Monica.
That said, the ending leaves a decent cliffhanger that implies they are just about to find Animalia–which is good since there is only one issue left in the miniseries.
The encounter Dr. Mirage has with Hwen is genuinely interesting and even a bit emotional. Faith is also given a consideration about the future of her superhero career which will hopefully come to a compelling head in the final issue.
MJ Kim’s artwork does make this realm look quite cute. Faith Herbert herself looks cute and endearing too (I don’t know how to put that without it making it sound like I’m crushing on Zephyr). The anime/manga-inspired artwork does a good job of presenting that. The spirits that haunt Monica do look legitimately creepy, and the Transformer/Blue-Eyes White Dragon looks quite cool. Jordie Belliare’s color art balances two tones with a dynamic color palette.
Faith: Dreamside #3 is another charming, if slightly slow, entry into the Jody Houser’s tale of Faith Herbert. This Deadside realm is strange, the threats are bizarre, and it all makes for a decent read. This one earns a recommendation. Feel free to check it out.
Faith: Dreamside #3 comes to us from writer Jody Houser, artist MJ Kim, color artist Jordie Bellaire, letterer Dave Sharpe, cover artist Marguerite Sauvage, and variant cover artists Sibylline Meynet and Megan Hetrick.