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Seriously, have Faith: Hollywood is getting its first plus-size superhero

Valiant Comics's Faith Herbert aka Zephyr is getting her own movie, like she damn well deserves

Ujjainee Roy @UjjaineeRoy 30 June 2018, 2:03 PM
Have you met the body-positive icon Faith Herbert, who can fly and has telekinetic powers?

Have you met the body-positive icon Faith Herbert, who can fly and has telekinetic powers? Image: Twitter

The thing about 2018 is — it has a lot of superheroes. And a body positive one can only make the case stronger for the progress we have made so far in the cultural movement.

Enter: Valiant Comics's Faith Herbert aka Zephyr. Faith, a fangirl of everything sci-fi and fantastical — from Scott Pilgrim to Joss Whedon's shows — first appeared in the famous comic book series Harbinger in 1992.

Faith can fly, has telekinetic powers and looks different from Black Widow or Wonder Woman because she is plus-size. And she is getting her own movie, penned by the writer of the blockbuster show American Gods.

"I think about her weight only in terms of making sure that I am treating her with respect, and, in a sense, not treating her any differently because of her weight," Zephyr writer Jody Houser told PBS a few years ago.

Zephyr is also the founder of the fictional superhero organisation Harbinger Resistance and is a recurring character in the Harbinger series. 

Faith is an orphan who has been raised by her grandmother, and has grown up on sci-fi movies and comic books, and was eventually approached by the Harbinger Foundation, where she met other psiots like her.

A psiot is a superhuman whose powers are psychically based. Faith can fly and can levitate objects by creating a companion field around them, and can also manipulate objects.

Faith is a huge Whedon fangirl

Faith is a huge Whedon fangirl Image: Twitter

According to a Deadline report, Sony Pictures and Valiant Comics have teamed up to make a Faith Herbert movie. Reportedly, a live-action movie based on the Harbinger comics is also on the cards.

The studio has already hired Maria Melnik to pen the script of the film. Melnik has previously written for the fantasy show American Gods, based on Neil Gaiman's novel of the same name, and the historical adventure show Black Sails.

Faith eventually moves to LA, and works as a blogger and journalist by day, and a superhero by night. One of her most recent comic successes came out during the 2016 American elections, when Faith meets Hillary Clinton.

Zephyr's story is not just different or more relevant owing to her body positive stance, but also because the superhero is a lot sunnier than her more famous counterparts.

"People check out Faith because they see something in her that they may have not seen in comics before... There has definitely been a trend toward the dark and gloomy superheroes. Don’t get me wrong, I love those and read plenty of them. But I think in terms of superheroes, it’s always important to have those examples of positivity and hope," Houser added.

Faith has never been projected as a tortured superhuman, which is one of the reasons fans found her a lot more relevant. Also, her love for comic books, of course.

"Her size has never been portrayed as an issue, or anything that other people really have a problem with. It's definitely not something that she has a problem with. She's very comfortable with herself. I'm not going to ignore her size, but I don't want it to be a big issue or a big plot line with her, and I think it would be out of character to make it that," Houser told People recently.

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