Earth to everyone, curvy women just scored more major visibility in the comic book arena. Faith Herbert is getting her own monthly series in July, according to the Times. (Jody Houser wrote it, and Pere Pérez and Marguerite Sauvage drew it. It’s going to be published by Valiant Comics.)
What makes a great hero? Or, better yet, what makes a great sheroe? Common answers: a combination of powers, personality and a noble cause that keeps audiences hooked. But when it comes to female heroes, there’s that other predictable requirement: a slim and intensely toned body type.
As you have probably noticed in the recent rash of superhero movies, the female heroes are usually smart, strong, brave and complex. However, they represent a small slice of the population. For the most part, curves and comics don’t go together, which is what makes Faith such a genre buster.
Curves and crime fighting have worked together since 1992, when Valiant Comics first introduced the world to Faith Herbert. Primarily, she was a hardworking reporter by day and a powerful defender of Los Angeles named Zephyr by night, and yes she had some fantastic curves.
Now she has finally been given her own comic book. Her superpowers break enduring stereotypes too. She can fly, and she’s got some impressive telekinetic skills. That’s right, a curvy superhero who can rocket into the sky with grace, speed and power.
What makes Faith such an amazing step forward is that her stories are not focused on her body image. As Faith’s author Jody Houser put it in her interview with The Mary Sue, “I don’t want her to be ‘the plus-size superhero.’ I want her to be the superhero who also happens to be plus-size, if that makes sense.” Faith wants to take down villains and save the day, just like any other superhero. It just so happens that she looks a hell of a lot more similar to the women reading her comic book, and less like a figment of someone’s imagination.
In the future, hopefully heroes with curves will become more and more popular as awareness and acceptance increases. Heroes are often ordinary people who are given extraordinary powers, so why not celebrate one who actually looks like an ordinary woman? And, who knows? We might even see Faith on the big screen some day.