María Llovet and Brian Azzarello’s Faithless has taken a measured approach to erotica in their tale of sex and magic. Two issues in, one of the most compelling things about the series is its aversion to sexual gratuity. Every encounter truly does serve the story as it never forgets to develop the obscure dimensions of magic the two main lovers tap into when experimenting with each other. It makes for a very nuanced story. And a more interesting one.
María Llovet’s art is largely responsible for this, as each panel contained within a sex sequence is balanced delicately, with horror and erotica playing off of each other perfectly. Llovet is careful not to veer into pornography for the sake of shock, or to prod taboos to create controversy. This is why the ‘erotica’ distinction is so important in Faithless. The comic just asks readers to delve into its world to look at other ideas surrounding sex.
As a horror book, Faithless feels like a David Cronenberg film (Videodrome, The Brood, The Fly). It takes the famed director’s own brand of body horror and turns it into a metaphor of not just our inner darkness but that which is thrust upon us by another person during a sexual encounter. It’s treated like an inevitability of sex, and it sets this story apart.
The Beat got an exclusive preview of Faithless #3, which follows below. It features a cover by Paul Pope (Heavy Liquid, Batman: Year 100) and a variant cover by Cliff Chiang (Paper Girls, Wonder Woman).
Faithless #3 is set to release on June 19th.
Written by: Brian Azzarello
Art by: María Llovet
Cover: Paul Pope
Variant Cover: Cliff Chiang
Ricardo Serrano is a Social Studies teacher with a Master’s Degree in Comic Books from the University of Dundee in Scotland. He’s also the co-creator of Se Habla Comics, a Puerto Rican podcast geared towards Spanish-speaking comic book readers.