Nobody does crime comics better than Ed Brubaker. He’s got a knack for getting the tone just right. That grittiness that sets them apart from the superhero genre. In his new comic, Velvet, he applies that talent to an espionage story and the results are fantastic.
Velvet Templeton is the secretary for the director of a black ops division of the government. After an agent is killed in an ambush she follows the threads she finds while processing the paperwork and finds herself in the line of fire. Turns out much to the surprise of her attackers, but not at all to us, Velvet is far more than she seems. She manages to fight them off and escape.
In the soon to be letters page, Brubaker says, “I’m sure I’m not the first person to look at the Girl Friday type in detective and spy fiction, the secretaries, the sidekicks, who all swoon for our heroes, and think “That’s bullshit. What if that was just an act? What if she’s more interesting that all those agents put together?” Velvet is the product of these meanderings.
Setting the book in the late 60s and early 70s helps the story work. No one looks at the secretaries as anything more than possible lays or the chick who brings coffee. From the start of the book you know Velvet is so much more than she seems and it seems at least one agent suspects the same.
Steve Epting’s art is perfectly suited to the book. The overall feel is downright cinematic. The characters all feel right for the setting and come alive on the page. Especially in the prologue, where the initial action is.
I cannot recommend Velvet enough. Especially if you are a fan of espionage. I’ve been trying to fill that gap in my comic reading since I finished Rucka’s Queen and Country. Brubaker has me excited that I have finally found a worthy successor to it.
Five out of five stars for Velvet. Definitely a must for your pull list
Velvet #1 (MR)
Writer: Brubaker, Ed
Artist: Epting, Steve
Cover Artist: Epting, Steve
On Sale October 23, 2013
Diamond Id: AUG130505