Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'Velvet' #11 by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting


★★★★★ (5/5)

The spy genre is as popular as ever. You just have to look at your local cineplex this year alone and see how enduring spy tales still are. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is the latest instalment of the long-running series that was based on a television show. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is another television show turned big screen adaptation. The grandaddy of them all sets James Bond on another moody and dark mission later this year in SPECTRE. And there's still comedies like Spy and American Ultra that put a funny spin on cloak and dagger adventures. Skeptics talk about a mythical superhero movie fatigue yet spy movies are just as prevalent with nary a word.

The best spy tale being spun right now doesn't take place on television or in a movie theater, it's happening between the pages of ink and paper of Velvet from Image Comics. Writer Ed Brubaker and artists Steve Epting and Elizabeth Breitweiser are in a groove with the latest issue, #11, as a new arc begins.  

Velvet Templeton comes out of hiding to continue her investigation into who set her up and killed her colleagues. The clues begin to dry up in Europe leading her to believe the answers could be found in the United States. She gets reacquainted with an old friend and slyly sets her plan in motion to hop the Atlantic without getting caught. 

Brubaker and company have hit their stride in telling a consistently compelling spy thriller with twists and turns that you'd expect from the genre. But the execution is effortless and nearly flawless. Even when tropes appear, as is typical within the genre, Brubaker infuses the story with a new wrinkle. The biggest asset is Velvet herself. She's not just a "strong female character" she's smart, deadly and decisive. She's always in control whether she's conning a connected accountant or using sex to meet her needs, Velvet is James Bond sans the male privilege. She has to use her underestimated status as a woman of the 60's to her advantage. 

Epting and Breitweiser dip every page in a murky pit of atmosphere and noirish decadence. Epting cleverly angles the perspective looking up at Velvet in certain panels reminding us that she commands respect and should be looked up to. She's nobody's fool. Epting's character design of Velvet makes her more believable because she's attractive but not in a cheap way. Shadows permeate every scene but are delicately balanced with Breitweiser's use of tempered colors.

Velvet is Brubaker and Epting at their best. Fans of their work wouldn't expect anything else. They deliver to bring another thriller to life that's smart, sexy and engaging. The new arc is off to a great start and one that shouldn't be missed.  

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

REVIEW: 'Redneck' #2 by Donny Cates, Lisandro Estherren, and Dee Cunniffe

'Redneck' arrived a month ago redefining the vampire genre by not giving into convention or cliché. In fact, if you've read the first two issues, the vampire angle serves more as subtext than its selling point. It's the perfect approach to this character-driven southern fried drama that simmers with tension and intrigue.

REDNECK #2 STORY: DONNY CATES
ART/COVER: LISANDRO ESTHERREN & DEE CUNNIFFE LETTERER: JOE SABINO
RELEASE DATE: MAY 24
32 PAGES | Full Color | Mature | $3.99
★★★★☆ (4/5)
The Bowman's way of life just got upended and what was once a peaceful and secluded existence is on the verge of war. The vampires of Texas keep to themselves, raise their cattle, drink its blood and sell the meat through their BBQ joint. Seems like a brilliant front to keep them in the shadows while staking out a living. All that is threatened when one of their own is killed after a night on the town. This issues fills in the holes to what might have happened and what the hell is…

PREVIEW: 'Tet' #4 by Paul Allor and Paul Tucker

We've seen Eugene's story. But during his last day's in Vietnam, he finally learns how Ha survived the war. She's always been much stronger than him; and much stronger than he's given her credit for. With all their secrets gone, Ha and Eugene must decide how to move forward.

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …

REVIEW: 'Farmhand' #1 by Rob Guillory and Taylor Wells

The artist of the offbeat and award-winning Chew with John Layman is back with an equally weird and delightful dark new tale. Rob Guillory meshes a conciliatory father-son relationship with a hybrid biomedical-agri farm. 'Farmhand' is a new quirky horror comic that is just irresistible.


FARMHAND #1
Writer: Rob Guillory Artist: Rob Guillory, Taylor Wells Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: July 11, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★1/2 (4.5/5)
The tone of the debut issue is literally found from cover to cover. Those hands that Jedidiah Jenkins is watering on the cover are not from the living dead trying to break through the soil but actual farm-raised appendages. Jedidiah found a way to grow body parts like he would crops creating an industry to benefit mankind. He even has a high-tech and interactive farm tour describing his great achievement. It's sufficiently creepy but benevolent in the spirit of Chew.  
You would think Jedidiah had it all but in fact, he's been e…

PREVIEW: 'Nancy Drew' #2 by Kelly Thompson, Jenn St-Onge, and Triona Farrell

Nancy’s returned to her hometown of Bayport to sniff out the sender of an ominous letter that may have to do with her mother’s death seven years ago. Re-teaming with her childhood crime-solving team -- Bess, George, and The Hardy Boys -- Nancy is determined to get to the bottom of things.


But she hasn’t even been back in town a day, and someone’s already tried to kill them once. Can they follow the clues in time to stop it from happening again? This modern take on the classic mystery icon continues from KELLY THOMPSON (Hawkeye, Star Wars, Rogue & Gambit) and JENN ST-ONGE (Giant Days, The Misfits)!
Nancy Drew #2
writer: Kelly Thompson artist: Jenn St-Onge, Triona Farrell covers: Tula Lotay (A)               Babs Tarr (B)                Jenn St-Onge (C-Sub)                Tula Lotay (RI-Virgin)
In Stores 07/11/2018
FC  |  32 pages  |  $3.99  |   Teen+