Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Velvet #6 Review (Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting)

The second Velvet story arc, The Secret Lives of Dead Men, kicks off with a bang as Ed Brubaker shows us why Velvet Templeton was removed from active service as an agent and put safely behind a desk as a secretary in ARC-7 HQ.

Flash forward to the present day – 1973 – and Velvet’s circuitous journey of revenge has taken her from the Eastern Bloc to Monaco, back to Blighty and straight to the wolf’s door – she will find out who is setting her up for the murders of fellow agents and she will do it with a gun pressed against her former boss’ head! 

Velvet is an absolutely wonderful series. It’s spy thriller/noir done perfectly with Brubaker and artist Steve Epting producing some of their best work in years with this comic. Brubaker unfolds the story at a good clip and keeps its momentum while creating a brilliant character in Velvet, and Epting’s art has never looked better. There hasn’t been a weak issue yet and #6 is no exception.

Epting captures the period well with the seedy back lanes of Soho providing the backdrop for most of this issue, gorgeously drawn, particularly with the gaudy lights against the urban night – the colour effects are striking.

And of course there’s some awesome Bourne-esque action as Velvet takes the fight to her pursuers. I’m glad Brubaker finally addressed why Velvet was stuck behind a desk when she’s so clearly better than that mundane life – it was the one aspect of her story that felt underdeveloped. 

Velvet #6 is another strong issue in what is easily one of Image’s best titles. If you love spy stories, with the twist being the spy is a kickass woman than a tuxedo’d womaniser, you’ll love this series. And with the paperback out now collecting issues #1-5, it’s the perfect time to jump onto the monthlies.

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