My Faith in Frankie #1

Written by Mike Carey
Penciled by Sonny Liew
Inked by Sonny Liew and Marc Hempel
32 pages, color
Published by Vertigo/DC Comics

It’s been a while since I’ve been so surprised by a comic. Usually when a new book comes out, I’ve read a bunch about it, know what to expect, seen an advance page or two… stuff like that. But somehow My Faith in Frankie fell completely off my radar. I knew it was being created, I knew that Mike Carey (whose comics I really enjoy) was writing it, and that Sonny Liew (whose Malinky Robot I reviewed about a month ago) was the penciler. But somehow, it just didn’t stick in my mind. Now that I’ve read #1, though, I won’t be forgetting it any time soon.

Some say that Frankie leads a charmed life. Her close friends know how true it is, since they’ve had Frankie explain why. She has her own personal god named Jeriven looking out for her. This has resulted in an amazing life for her up until now, but she’s hit a slight snag. Apparently, none of her potential boyfriends are good enough for Jeriven, and he’s been doing everything in his (godlike) power to keep them away. Now she’s off to college, and a boy she’d had a major crush on in the past has entered the picture. Oh yeah, and he died and came back from the dead thanks to Jeriven’s slight mistake and then penance a couple of years ago. This is no ordinary love triangle, not by a longshot.

When I think of Carey’s writing, it’s full of supernatural beings and devious tricksters; a natural when your current monthly series are Lucifer and Hellblazer. Maybe that’s why I was so surprised by the first issue of My Faith in Frankie, because of its whimsical and humorous nature. It does a nice job of shifting styles between the innocent stories of Young Frankie and the present day, where Frankie’s learning about the down side to having your own personal god. In many ways it’s two comics in one, with each half nicely complementing the other. And best of all, this is a book where the conflict is anything but predictable; I have no idea how Carey’s going to end this, but it’s going to be fun getting there.

I wouldn’t have thought that having Marc Hempel help ink Liew’s pencils would be a good thing, but apparently it’s a match made in heaven. Or wherever Jeriven’s afterlife may be. After getting his raw pencils on Malinky Robot, it’s great to see that having them inked by Liew and Hempel manages to keep the same sort of laid-back, casual feel that his art gets across to the reader. It’s a perfect match for story and art here as well; Liew’s able to hit the goofy moments like the magically appearing rabbits and the childhood flashbacks, but at the same time there’s a great sense of menace as Jeriven sees the return of the (formerly deceased) Dean and sees the writing on the wall.

In today’s comic market, so many mini-series sink without a trace. That would be a real shame if it happened to My Faith in Frankie because this is adorable. Please, please, please give this book a chance. It may not come with a personal god included with purchase, but there’s enough other good stuff that you, too, will feel blessed. A top-notch book by all involved. My Faith in Frankie is a four-issue limited-series from Vertigo/DC Comics.

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