Faith Lehane was born December 14, 1982 in South Boston to an alcoholic mother. At the age of four, her abusive father was imprisoned for murder, and Faith was raised believing he had died. As a child, Faith played with her imaginary friend Alex. As an adolescent, Faith had repeated nightmares of her and Alex escaping from a group of attacking women, these were later found out to be the Maenads and their master, The Father. These nightmares were later discovered to be visions of the final days of Artemia.
After being repeatedly suspended from school for fighting, she was finally expelled in her fourth year. Living alone for a while she found out that her mother had been arrested for solicitation, it was at this point that she was assigned to a foster home by Social Services. Her first foster parents went under the name of Mr & Mrs Jones, it is unclear if these were their true names as Faith discovered that they were actually keeping their undead son, who had risen as a vampire, in the house. Mr. Jones was currently in the foster care system so that he could keep his son fed with the bodies of foster children and then claim to the authorities that they had run away or moved on.
The child was Faith's first vampire kill, though by accident when she was being attacked, she pulled down the drapes of the room she and the vampire had been locked in, bathing the room in sunlight and dusting the child vampire instantly.
Fleeing the foster care system, Faith went on the run to try and find her mother again, after a long journey she finally found her. Returning to Boston, Faith found her mother working as a prostitute for her one time boyfriend Gable. In a moment of pure rage, Faith killed Gable. The Boston police intervened but were unable to save Gable. The police took Faith into custody where she was quickly diagnosed as being a sociopath by the community psychiatrist. From there she was taken immediately to Belmont Center for treatment.
Faith was originally a creation for the television show, and was intended as a darker version of Buffy, but a character in the same vein. She was portrayed by Eliza Dushku, whose appearances and mannerism affected the character, including how she is portrayed in comics. Her first appearance in comics was in Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1.
The character is based on the one from the television show, but the character in the comics is considered an extension and continuation of that character. This is as opposed to other characters who make the transition between television and comics who later have their stories somewhat retold.
Faith is basically the opposite of Buffy. She was trained as a Slayer despite her obvious mental problems which deepened when her Watcher was brutally murdered by Kakistos. Faith often states that killing gives her a feeling of euphoria and even suffers a sort of withdrawal when she is unable to go out Slaying; she even confides in Angel that quitting violence for her is exactly the same as an alcoholic giving up drinking.
She is a smoker and drinker, an obvious opposite to Buffy's clean cut persona and displays vagrant promiscuity. She often describes herself as a loser magnet and is content to abide by her rule of "Get some then get gone."
Faith's catchphrase is "Five by Five", which she uses to mean that everything's fine with her, often sarcastically though or as a means to cover up her own anguish.
Faith and Buffy share a complex bond. Buffy always feels alienated by Faith's love for violence and her lack of responsibilities, while Faith is confused and angered by Buffy's refusal to enjoy the Slaying and accept her calling fully. It was first brought to Faith's attention that she loves Buffy by The First, who enlightened Faith to the fact that she always wanted Buffy to love and accept her. Faith admits that she does feel a bond with Buffy and would like to explore it, but the nature of their relationship as Slayers wouldn't allow for it.
When Faith returns to Sunnydale, she tries again to follow Buffy's lead, and is hesitant to become the leader after the mutiny against Buffy. However, Buffy surprises Faith by encouraging her to embrace the leadership role. After Buffy and the gang are reconciled Faith concludes that the reason they have never gotten along is because two Slayers were never meant to exist at the same time.
While on a mission to assassinate a rogue slayer, known as Genevieve Savidge or Gigi, Faith went undercover as a slayer that had also gone rogue. She got herself into Gigi's good graces, and even got close enough for the two of them to bathe together. While Faith was on this mission, Buffy was teleported to Scotland to kill the homicidal slayer who was planning to murder Buffy. Faith tried to stop Buffy but Buffy refused to listen and was convinced that Faith had gone rogue and a fight ensued, which almost led to Buffy's death at the hands of Faith who was drowning her in a swimming pool. Faith came to her senses in time, and Buffy was quickly teleported back to the states. And though Faith was successful at killing Gigi, the battle put another strain in their relationship.
Faith and Buffy had however later reconciled when both had lost their powers when the Scooby Gang was gathered in Tibet to find Twilight. This reconciliation seemed to signify that Buffy and Faith had finally formed the basics of a friendship since Faith committed murder.
Major Story Arcs
Once the Watchers Council had identified Faith as a potential Slayer, a Watcher was dispatched to retrieve her from the Psychiatric Care unit at Belmont and start her training. Faith was quickly released into the care of Professor Diana Dormer who had used the influence of The Watchers Council to have Faith released. Under Diana's care Faith quickly began her training as a Slayer. However, it was during this time that Faith discovered that her mother had been found dead, the apparent cause of death was a drug overdose.
On May 12th, 1998, the Slayer line passed on to Faith due to the death of Kendra Young. It is worth noting that in the Watcher Diaries of Diana Dormer, she noted that during her training period, Faith would have constant nightmares, and eventually she started having full length blackouts, during which she was possessed by the Spirit of Artemia. Diana finally managed to remove the spirits presence from Faith's body, though leaving Faith with several portions of Artemia's memory, including the memory of watching Artemia's child being raped and killed by The Father.
Faith’s story for a time became linked with that of Kakistos. Kakistos was a master vampire, a vampire so old that his hands and feet were cloven and he was stuck in his vampiric form. Arriving in Boston to kill The Slayer, Kakistos kidnapped Diana in an attempt to force Faith into a fight. When Faith arrived to rescue her watcher, Kakistos killed her by ripping her in two. Faith managed to escape Kakistos during a fierce battle. Faith strangely doesn't remember this battle though, it was later discovered that during this time she was once again possessed by Artemia and Alexandra. Setting a fire during her escape, she ran from Boston believing Kakistos to be dead.
Faith discovered that Alexandra, Artemia's Daughter, had been driven insane by the Maenads and not killed like Artemia had believed. Instead she had made a deal with a demon lord named D'Hoffryn and had become the vengeance demon known as Malice. Malice was about to grant Artemia's wish for vengeance on The Father, a wish that she herself had a personal stake in, it was during this time she got caught up in a battle with Arashmahaar and her demonic powers were stripped from her.
After arriving in Sunnydale, Faith made quick friends with Buffy Summers, the current Slayer, and her group of friends. Although Buffy is thankful for having another Slayer around to help with her duties, Buffy admits that she doesn't fully trust Faith. Buffy still trusts Faith enough to leave her to protect her mother during Christmas when the First Evil attacks Angel though and even states that she is actually attracted to Faith and Faith's wilder more carefree attitude to Slaying.
Faith's perceived isolation becomes more of a problem when she is assigned a new Watcher, Gwendolyn Post, who turns out in fact to have abandoned the Watchers Council to begin her own quest for power. Gwendolyn uses Faith in a plot to acquire a magical artifact that would give her enough power to take over the Watchers Council. Faith's mental stability takes a turn for the worst when she accidentally killed the Deputy Mayor of Sunnydale, Allan Finch, during a routine patrol. During this time it is believed that she went into denial over her actions.
When Buffy is about to reveal what actually happened to her Watcher, Faith steps in first blaming Buffy for the entire incident and telling Giles that it was actually Buffy who delivered the killing blow to Allan Finch. Giles, knowing the truth at this point, plays along to avoid pushing Faith too far into her disturbed mental state, and as a group the Scoobies decide to take a more active role in helping Faith accept what happened and help her recover from it.
When Giles is forcibly retired from the Watchers Council, a new Watcher is appointed to train Buffy and Faith in their duties as a Slayer, Wesley Wyndam-Pryce. He finds out about what Faith has done and reports back to The Council about what Faith had done, he was assigned a team of Black Ops members who were specifically trained to deal with Rogue Slayers and bring them in for 'retraining', this was later found out to mean death. Faith however managed to escape from the Retrieval Team and goes on the run, believing herself to be abandoned by Buffy, Giles and the rest of the Scoobies, she turns to Mayor Richard Wilkins the Third, creating her own job vacancy as his Right Hand Man by killing the vampire Mr. Trick who currently oversaw The Mayor's street operations.
Faith and Richard Wilkins quickly developed a strange bond. She quickly began to see him as a father figure and works for him happily. While working for Mayor Wilkins, Faith is ordered to kidnap and kill Willow Rosenberg in an effort to distract Buffy from her duties as a Slayer. Upon kidnapping Willow, Faith finds herself strangely reluctant to kill her and is surprised when Willow claims that Faith is beyond help. After Willow escapes Faith is ordered to turn her attentions to Angel instead and poisons him using a magically enhanced arrow which she from across the town.
The only antidote to this poison is the blood of a Slayer, and Buffy turns her attentions to Faith to get the blood she needs, starting Buffy's own turn to darkness. Buffy confronts Faith, intent on wounding her but Buffy only managed to stab Faith in the stomach. During the fight, Faith manages to escape from Buffy by jumping off of the roof onto a moving truck. This wound leaves Faith in a coma for approximately eight months, during which time she shares a series of prophetic dreams with Buffy which include the arrival of Buffy's new sister, Dawn.
Once Faith regained consciousness, she immediately set her sights on returning to Sunnydale and finishing the fight with Buffy. Attacking Buffy and Willow on the UC Sunnydale campus she is shocked by how things have changed in the time she had been comatose, the fact that Buffy is not with Angel anymore and the fact that Buffy had managed to kill The Mayor.
After a brief fight, Faith escapes and starts a new plan in motion and attacks Buffy's mother. When Buffy finds out about the attack she goes after Faith, during the ensuing battle Faith uses a magical device left to her by The Mayor as a redundancy option in case his Ascension failed and he was defeated. The device swaps Buffy and Faith's souls around, moving Faith's soul and personality into Buffy's body and vice versa. Buffy, while in Faith's body, is kidnapped by the Watchers Council Retrieval team, the same team that Faith previously escaped from, while Faith makes plans to escape from Sunnydale by using Joyce Summers' credit cards to book a plane flight to Rome. But, before setting off, she decides to seduce Buffy's then-boyfriend Riley, and also crosses paths with Spike, whom she seductively taunts.
Ironically it was Tara, Willow's new girlfriend who had never met Faith previously, who managed to figure out that there was something drastically wrong with 'Buffy'. Faith attacks Tara and moves up her escape plan, though she is stopped when she learns of a vampire attack in a church in Sunnydale, one that was planned by Adam. Faith finally chooses her duty as a Slayer over escaping from Sunnydale and goes to the church to help the hostages, unfortunately Buffy, still in Faith's body, arrives on the scene as well and the two battle it out after rescuing the hostages. During the fight, Faith shows extreme self-hatred by savagely beating her own body. Willow and Tara finally manage to reverse the body swap and in the resulting confusion Faith escapes Sunnydale vowing never to return.
After escaping from Sunnydale, Faith returns to her heritage as a Slayer, though not in the means she was trained in. it is during this time that she earned the monikers "The Dark Slayer and The Rogue Slayer" and was approached by Wolfram and Hart in an effort to kill Angel who was interfering with the Senior Partners plans for Los Angeles.
Accepting the contract she fist kidnaps Wesley and brutally tortures him, during this time she reveals that she still blames Wesley for failing her as her Watcher. After torturing Wesley she turns her attention to Angel, making the decision that she intends to force Angel to kill her, ending her own tortured life and turning Angel back into Angelus at the same time. Angel repeatedly refuses to kill her however, actually allowing Faith to viciously beat him, towards the end of the fight Faith is actually breaking down in tears and eventually drops to the floor in front of Angel and begs him to kill her. Angel takes it upon himself to try and redeem Faith's soul and sets to work on breaking down the emotional walls that Faith had established around herself.
During this time, Buffy arrives in Los Angeles and confronts Angel over what he is doing with Faith, she states that she is here to actually kill Faith, at the same time The Watchers Council's Retrieval Team also show up, intent on taking Faith back to The Council for unknown purposes. Faith finally decides to surrender herself to the Los Angeles Police Department and face the consequences of her actions. Faith is sentenced to twelve years at a women's prison, Angel being her only regular visitor. Ironically, it is during this time that Faith actually achieves some stability and faces up to her crimes.
During her incarceration, Faith is attacked by a fellow prisoner, Debbie, who is later discovered to be an agent of The First Evil. Soon after the attack she is recruited by Wesley who brings her back to Los Angeles to help with the problem they have with Angelus who had regained control and was currently rampaging through Los Angeles. During the ensuing battle with Angelus, she injects herself with a powerful magical drug known as Orpheus and allows Angelus to drain her, effectively killing herself to get the drug into Angelus' system. Due to the nature of the drug, and the way that it was administered to Angelus, Faith joins Angel and Angelus in a dreamscape where they go through Angel's personal history. The drug almost kills Faith but she survives due to Angel convincing her not to give up.
After Willow re-ensouls Angel, Faith returns to Sunnydale with her, intent on helping Buffy battle The First Evil and atoning for her crimes in Sunnydale. When she first arrives in Sunnydale she starts to blindly follow Buffy into every situation, though quickly starts to question Buffy's decision making ability.
Buffy recognizes the need for reinforcements, and that Faith would be a valuable ally in the fight for Sunnydale, but is less than enthusiastic with Faith's return. This all comes to a head when the Potential Slayers that Giles had gathered to Sunnydale turn on Buffy and force her out of her house before turning to Faith for leadership. Reluctantly agreeing to lead The Potentials, Faith leads them to attack Caleb by first attacking a known Bringer armory, this turns out to be a trap where a bomb has been primed ready for their arrival. Faith is badly wounded and several Potentials were killed.
Faith and Buffy finally make peace after this, agreeing to work together in future and not divide their efforts and the group again. They both agree that the friction between them could be due to the fact that two activated Slayers were never supposed to exist and they were naturally conflicting creatures.
During a time when the U.S. Government views the Slayers and their group as International Terrorists in the wake of Sunnydale's destruction, Faith returns to Cleveland, the only other Hellmouth currently active on American soil. Giles contacts Faith to make a deal, Faith is supposed to assassinate a Rogue Slayer by the name of Lady Genevieve Savidge, if she manages this then Giles will relocate her to any country of her choosing. In order to get close to Lady Savidge Giles formally trains Faith in British Etiquette and Faith even managed to speak in a British accent for the duration of her assignment.
Her cover as 'Hope' is blown however when Buffy intervenes, she recognizes Faith and attacks her, fearing that Faith had returned to her old ways as a villain. Recognizing that she had been betrayed, Lady Savidge attacks Faith. During the battle Faith is badly wounded by Roden, Lady Savidge's master, however and it turns to Giles to perform the killing blow which he does.
The next day Giles hands Faith her passport and states that he will stand by his side of the deal and organize for her to relocate wherever she chooses, Faith then surprises Giles by stating that she would like to stay with him and help him tackle the Rogue Slayers that are becoming more and more problematic now that even more Slayers are being activated as time goes on. Giles agrees to this 'partnership' and they move off to start their own organization away from The New Watchers Council as he and Buffy aren't on speaking terms anymore. After defending a town against a community of vampires, Giles and Faith returned to Buffy's side and join her during the retreat from Twilight's army. At which point, Faith and the other slayers and wiccans of the gang lose all their powers. Then, Faith and Giles, along with Andrew, are caught and held hostages by Twilight, who then proceeds to reveal his identity as Angel before injuring Faith. After escaping, Faith unexpectedly regains her powers.
During the ensuing fight between Twilight and the Scooby Gang, the Seed of Wonder, the source of all magic, is destroyed by Buffy, but before Angel can revert to normal, he snaps Giles' neck. Angel goes into a catatonic state, and Faith is left with all of Giles possessions. Faith watches after Angel, believing that she is the only one who can deal with him because she understands the road to retribution. The two of them leave the United States together for London, where they try to finish up Giles old, unfinished business, and Angel sets off on his ultimate goal to bring Giles back to life.
Powers and Abilities
Faith is a Slayer, and has all the powers passed on through this mystical line, including a healing factor and superhuman strength, speed, durability and reflexes, and also having psychic-like dreams, which were able to wake her from her coma. Due to their similar powers, Buffy and Faith were shown to be evenly matched in their various brawls during Season Three and Four, though Buffy stated firmly on several occasions that Faith has a notable advantage because of her carefree violent style of fighting that gives her fight more passion than she has. She has shown the strength to be able to lift Angel over her head and slam him into the ceiling, toss full grown men across the room on multiple occasions, and have the strength to lift up a barbell and slam it into the face of another prisoner. She is shown to be Buffy's equal time and time again.
During Buffy Season 8 and onward, it has shown that Faith has grown in strength and speed, and has been able to again match Buffy Summers, and even during a quick encounter gain the advantage to the point where had Faith not backed off, Buffy's death at her hands seemed a distinct possibility.