Velvet is one of the greatest additions to the Image lineup in recent years. I’ve always been a fan of the way that Ed Brubaker writes, especially for his Captain America stuff, but there is originality here that is so potent that you’d think that this was the series that he’d had in mind all along. This creative team delivers the spy/espionage/thriller genre with extraordinary grace. I’ve never used the word “grace” before when describing a comic book series, but I can’t think of a better word to use. I am so thoroughly impressed with everything that’s going on in this book that I’ve already decided to give it a permanent home on my pull list. I really only have a handful of “permanents”. I pick up and drop so many different series years after year that I’ve almost had to spend time in a hospital to recover from whiplash. It’s nice to see that those days may be behind me for now. Brubaker’s script for this issue is definitely the best that I’ve seen so far in the series. The dialogue and narration have a gripping quality to it that I’m not really used to seeing in this type of book. I become so engrossed every time that I pick up one of these that I tend to forget that I’m reading it for professional reasons. This book makes me feel like a fan again. That’s why I love it so much. I’ve kind of lost a little bit of that feeling over the past couple of years.
Of course, I don’t really have to talk about Steve Epting’s art, but this wouldn’t really be a review without at least a blurb about it. This guy is a freaking genius when it comes to the use of shadows. I think that I said in my last review for this book that the shadows were actually like characters themselves. They create a mood that is impossible not to get swept up in. Everything is so dark, but in a way, they help to illuminate the forward motion of the book. See what I did there? Also, I’m pretty sure that I’ve never actually touched on the look of Velvet herself. This chick makes me want to be a secret agent. She has such a commanding presence, that I almost forget that she’s a woman. I don’t like to look at the main characters in terms of gender, but that is definitely not an issue with her.
The most convenient thing about this series is that it’s still in its early phases. There is more than enough time to jump on board, and you wouldn’t have to catch up too much. Sometimes people get so burned out catching up to the current place of the book that they don’t have any desire to stick with it. I’ve actually done that. But these issues are such a quick read, especially if you’re a fan of Brubaker’s work already, it won’t feel like it’s taking any time at all. I recommend picking this up. You don’t really have an excuse not to. Especially now… I have spoken.
Writer: Ed Brubaker Artist: Steve Epting Publisher: Image Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date: 1/15/14