Friday, February 21, 2014

Guest Review - Velvet #1

   We have another guest review for you - this time our man David Wright is here with a look at one of Image's newest - and hottest - comic:

Velvet #1  by Ed Brubaker and art by Sean Epting

   Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting have become a formidable force in modern comics. I’ve come to rely on them for strong storylines and ideas.  

   Their long run on The Death of Captain America and the more recent ongoing, Fatale, and other comic work have always hooked me, and I look forward to seeing what new stories and ideas they come up with.

   Velvet  is a spy comic heavy on action and intrigue and fashioned much in the mode of James Bond, Jason Bourne, and the more recent film, Haywire. It features a strong female protagonist, Velvet Templeton, portraying the main role.  

   The story begins in 1973 as an operative agent, X-14, is on a mission in Paris. Something goes wrong and it appears a mole has tipped off  his mission, and he’s been set up as a fall guy.  

   After the news reaches the agency of his untimely demise, intelligence sets into looking for who might have taken the hit, and they begin checking into airport arrivals and departures, hotel bookings, and so forth, trying to find clues as to who might have done it. 

   There’s another flashback on Velvet’s earlier career when she was an agent. She knew X-14 along with several of the other agents, they were once pretty close so she has a personal interest in the case. But the past few years she’s taken a desk job out of the field, and working under Director Manning as a secretary.  

   From intel they find an agent, Frank Lancaster, who might have killed X-14, but Velvet thinks the intel on Lancaster smells funny, and is half baked. Curiosity gets the better of Velvet, and she begins her own investigation into the case, which leads her to one of Lancaster’s safe houses.  

   Once Velvet gets inside the safe house we find out all is not well. The book ends on a confrontation, and a heck of a cliffhanger. Yes, like a lot of the James Bond franchise and other spy fiction, a certain amount of suspension of disbelief is required to engage in such fantasies. But if spy fiction and action is your double martini, you might want to check out the book.  

Grade: A


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