Faith Herbert is a telekinetic superhero in Valiant’s comic universe. She flies through the air donning a bright white and blue jumpsuit, saving puppies, and uncovering corruption around every corner. She's also fat—and not “fat” in the way that popular culture describes plus-size models like Ashley Graham. Faith has a double chin, and that skintight jumpsuit doesn't hide her curves. And the best part for many comic readers is that no one says a thing about it.
Faith may fit in with an increasingly body-positive culture, though she first emerged in 1992 in a Valiant series called Harbinger, which followed the adventures of a group of misfit teenagers. But in that series, Faith and her endlessly cheery outlook on life were constantly plagued by a barrage of fat jokes. And when the series was revived in 2012, little had changed—not her relentless optimism, not the unnecessary digs about her weight, like when a passerby notes, “That fat girl sure is light on her feet.”
But in 2016, things are different: Faith has stepped outside of the Harbinger umbrella and returned in a bestselling miniseries that came out in January. She’s also set to star in her first full series, which will debut in July and feature her first real nemesis, whom she’ll face off against as her story unfolds in monthly installments. This year marks the first time Faith has been written by a woman, the Orphan Black comic writer Jody Houser—and, not so coincidentally, there isn’t a fat joke in sight.