This week was a great one for Image, having a double sell-out for their #1 issues of Pretty Deadly and Velvet, both boasting female lead characters. In this feature, I’ll be talking about the lead character in the latter, Velvet Templeton. I can’t hope to describe her or the concept of the book better than Steve did in his contribution to the group review, so I’ll just go ahead and quote him: “What if James Bond was killed in action and a badass Miss Moneypenny set off to avenge him?” Throughout the issue we realize that nobody really knows who Velvet is. She played all the X-operatives from ARC-7 as if they were fools. They all had a secret thing with her, but why she did that will probably come in to play in later issues. Ed Brubaker does a great job at giving us a bit of insight and backstory to Velvet while making the reader invested in the mystery of who she actually is. The last few pages give us a glimpse at what she used to do before she became a secretary. She renders Roberts’ men useless with ease even though she claims it’s harder than she remembers. From cartwheeling out of M16-fire to karate-chopping a guy in the throat to flipping another onto a table, it’s all here. The book ends with the mysterious line “My real life died a long time ago.” I’m looking forward to seeing what Velvet’s life was and what will become of it now she was flung back into her old line of work-being in the field.