Velvet (#8) continues to be the best spy series in comics. You can keep your Black Widow and Grayson I’ve got my money on Velvet Templeton. Initially dismissed as a female James Bond, Velvet can hold her own and then some. She’s knee deep in taking her former employer to task and holding Director Manning hostage is all part of the plan.
The issue takes off from page one and Velvet’s inner monologue demonstrates the cunning of a master agent, plotting her advance while anticipating the agency’s every move. Well, almost every move. It’s not only the calm cool demeanor of a stealth operator but that of its creator, Ed Brubaker. One of the best writers in the industry Brubaker holds his subjects with the utmost respect as well as his audience. It’s never been more evident than in the command he instills in Velvet. Always in control, always thinking two moves ahead she is a force to be reckoned with. Such qualities used to be reserved for male heroes to flourish under pressure usually to save a damsel in distress. Instead Brubaker has given a comic book market one of the greatest embodiments of feminine empowerment that it desperately needs. A fortysomething female super spy who’s brilliant, resilient and powerful.
Steve Epting’s pencils and Elizabeth Breitweiser’s colors successfully capture 1970’s London with a noirish pulp look full of shadows and muted tones. The focus is always set on Velvet, she’s in virtually every panel and you can’t take your eyes off of her. It’s a cinematic style that hits all the beats and angles that accentuate the action. The fluidness of the story in words and pictures comes from a creative team that are in sync on every issue.
Velvet is a winning series that doesn’t disappoint. If you enjoy a gritty spy thriller full of action and deadly conspiracies then this is the book for you.