The Valiant Comics universe has become rightly famous for introducing more realistic and believable superheroes (for a refreshing change) over the last few decades, and their new ownership, DMG Entertainment, has openly stated an intention to use this to their advantage moving forward. In the genre of female superheroes, their universe brought us Faith Herbert, back in the late 1990s. Faith was under the radar until she was fully re-launched and promoted heavily during the past decade. Valiant’s gamble on Faith Herbert paid off handsomely; she soon grew into one of the great breakout success stories of the 2010s.
Who Is Faith Herbert and What Does She Stand For?
Faith Herbert is so popular precisely because she embodies all that is most loved about the concept of superheroes. Her original appearances in the pages of the Harbinger comic book series had this attractive young lady in the role of Zephyr. She became a founding member of the Harbinger Resistance. Zephyr figures as one of the key players in the later-launched Harbinger Renegades comic series.
Introduction to “Faith”
Faith—a.k.a Zephyr, her alter-ego—started out in the Valiant Comics universe back in the mid to late 1990s. A girl who could fly, she helped to found the Renegades that resisted the domination of the evil Toyo Harada and his domineering Harbinger Foundation. The Zephyr also served as a member of Team Unity back in the day.
The Early Years of Faith with Valiant Comics
Faith was literally a pop-culture child. She dreamed of becoming a comic book-styled superhero. She got her ultimate wish when Pete Stancheck, a psionic man of phenomenal powers, appeared at her family home. Stancheck used his power to wake up her Harbinger capability of flying. He immediately recruited her for the lost-seeming cause of stopping the machinations of evil Toyo Harada, most potent Harbinger on earth. Harada’s schemes included a utopian vision of the world that would be re-made better in his own image.
Faith in the Valiant Entertainment Era (2012-present)
Faith’s powers grew apace, as did her legend. Not only could she fly personally, but she had the ability to take another person into her orbit and extend this ability to them while they were traveling with her.
Faith Herbert had a daytime persona that was easy for girls to relate to in their everyday lives. Herbert’s day job was as a journalist working in Los Angeles; here, she first developed her alter ego character of “Summer Smith”. Smith was a nerdy-looking girl wearing a red wig, complete with glasses as a part of her effective disguise.
Because Faith was, in reality, a comic-book and science-fiction nerd girl, she took more to the typical superhero traits than some of her friends. Faith embraced the super-name concept (calling herself the “Zephyr”) and clung to the costumes that would ensure her identity remained a carefully-guarded secret. Herbert was also an enormous fan of the legendary sci-fi character Doctor Who.
As we enter the 2020s and DMG Entertainment starts producing Valiant character movies, we may enter another era for Faith’s representation to an even wider audience.
What Were Faith’s Powers and Abilities Like?
Once Faith was activated by her meeting with Peter Stancheck, she immediately gained the power of solo flight. In time, she became really good at this flying ability, and even learned how to adroitly utilize her other abilities involving aerokinetics, too.
Faith could also extend her field of flying to a so-called “plus one”. She learned about her ability to project a personal force field and shield in time. This added greatly to her defensive capabilities when attacked. This force field was so powerful that Zephyr could even use it to move objects around and out of the way. Finally, she discovered her ability to fire wind bursts from herself, rounding out her superhero abilities and powers.
Faith Herbert Becomes a High School Student
In the tradition of the Superhero High concept, Valiant Entertainment later launched her Zephyr series in the 2010s. Here she was cast in the featured role of high school sophomore in Valiant High. With her BFF Amanda, this super-geek flies around and inspires other teenage girls to be all that they can be in their real-world lives today.
Faith as a Role Model for Today’s Young Women
What was it exactly about Faith Herbert that made her so relevant to so many young women over the past decade especially? Everyone talked about her enduring positivity. More than any other Valiant universe superhero character, Faith enthusiastically and joyfully accepts her part as a real “super-girl.”
She used this to establish herself in the role of a Los Angeles-based world-class superhero, coming complete with both her secret identity and a regular-seeming day job as a journalist. Faith also had a new boyfriend in Obadiah Archer. Together, the romantic pair would keep watch over the City of Angels from the overhead sky as real-life guardians of the local inhabitants. What girl of today would not love this persona?
Critically, Faith, a.k.a. “Zephyr”, speaks to a more diverse and sophisticated comic-book fanbase of young women who are seeking costumed role models who are both more realistic and believable and more positive than many of their grittier contemporaries. This makes Faith a true beacon of hope and light to girls across America and the developed world today.
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