I kind of consider this to be Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s grand opus. At first I didn’t really have much anticipation for this series, but I was slapped in the face pretty good after this issue. I need to start being more open-minded right off the bat. I can’t even imagine how I would have felt if I had given this a chance three years from now because of some Comixology .99 cent sale and loved it. Probably about the same as I felt when I read J. Michael Straczynski’s run of Thor THREE YEARS LATER. And I call myself loyal. Do I need to keep going, or do you get the fact that I liked this a lot already? Velvet is on the run. And she’s not being chased by the enemy. Two agents have been killed, one in retirement and one on active duty. Someone has set her up and turned her own organization against her. Luckily, her secret past has given her the knowledge, skills, and connections to escape. It looks like someone will have a hell of a lot to answer for. Her investigation into this betrayal has begun.
I like that most of the script is in narration. I know that a lot of people would rather read conversation, I’m usually one of them, but it really works in this case. Congratulations, Ed, you win. I never thought that I would actually prefer narration over dialogue. With subject matter that doesn’t necessarily come off as simple, I think that this story is really easy to follow. Stories that deal with espionage or international intrigue usually tend to be really dry and confusing. I may be speaking too soon here, it could possibly get more and more confusing as it goes on, but so far I’m good with it. Bravo.
The art by Steve Epting is phenomenal. When has it not been? These guys have done enough work together by now to write a book on how this type of series is supposed to feel. I like how everything sort of has the feel of being poorly lit, but still looks so awesome. In the film industry, poorly lit means that the final product is going to look like crap (unless that’s what you’re going for), but I think that this “dark world” that these two men have created visually, sets the tone for the entire series in more ways than one. These characters are going to be doing a lot of things that require silence, careful planning, deception, and maybe even some damage control; that stuff doesn’t happen in broad daylight. Maybe I’m over analyzing, but I don’t think so.
We’re seeing more and more comics with stories that are centered around female leads. Growing up, I read a lot of superhero comics. I would say that about ninety-eight percent of them were focused on male characters. I wasn’t one of those guys who was obsessed with Wonder Woman. Personally, I don’t really like her, but I’ve come around with age. I think that Velvet is going into my pull list from now on.
Writer: Ed Brubaker Artist: Steve Epting Publisher: Image Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date: 12/4/13