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

DC Comics March Movie Poster Variant Covers are Fantastic

DC Comics may have outdone themselves with their running themed variant covers for the month of March 2015. After some fun and gorgeous variants in 2014 like Darwin Cooke (December), LEGO (November), and Bombshells (June) to name a few DC Comics is continuing to bring some creative covers in 2015. January will feature Flash throughout the company line in celebration of his 75th Anniversary, February will bring everyone’s favorite wild card, Harley Quinn, on DC covers, and perhaps the best mash-ups of comics and famous movie posters will arrive in March.

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 …

KICKSTARTER SPOTLIGHT: 'WHITE' The Sequel to the Acclaimed Graphic Novel BLACK

How does America react when only black people have superpowers? In the sure-to-be-controversial six-part comic book series WHITE, co-creators Kwanza Osajyefo and Tim Smith 3, Inkpot-Award winning artist Jamal Igle, and cover artist Khary Randolph reunite for the sequel to their acclaimed graphic novel and Kickstarter sensation, BLACK.



“How does a nation struggling with a history of racial inequality cope in a world where only black people have superpowers?” said Kwanza Osajyefo. “Our story asks: In a time of supposed inclusion and diversity, how far will those in charge push back to retain the status quo?”

In WHITE, Theodore Mann, whose family exploited empowered blacks for centuries, is now President of the United States. Mann’s administration has exacted controversial measures to deal with the empowered he’s deemed terrorists and is stoking national tensions to win public support for Mann First, a cybernetically-augmented soldier program. The main person standing in the President’s …

Fitness Women in Superhero Body Paint by J.M. Manion

J.M. Manion has long been a successful photographer covering the fitness and bodybuilding industry. He has photographed some of the strongest, well-defined physiques on the planet. He's also had a love of super-heroes and comic books. So much so that Manion began publishing his own comic book, Iron Siren Comics, featuring some of the fitness competitors he's covered as superheroes themselves. It's no wonder he sometimes incorporates superhero cosplay and body paint into photo shoots. Here are just some examples of his work:

PRE-ORDER: 'Sabrina the Teenage Witch' #1 (of 5) by Kelly Thompson, Veronica Fish, and Andy Fish

BRAND NEW SERIES! Sabrina is a teen witch who’s struggling with balancing the double life of high school and her burgeoning powers. Newly relocated to Greendale with her aunts Hilda and Zelda (also witches), Sabrina is trying to make the best of being the new girl in town which so far includes two intriguing love interests, an instant rivalry, a couple of misfits that could turn into BFFs, and trying to save the high school (and maybe the world) from crazy supernatural events. NBD!




SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH #1 (OF 5)
Script: Kelly Thompson Art: Veronica Fish, Andy Fish, Jack Morelli Cover: Veronica Fish Variant Covers: Stephanie Buscema, Adam Hughes, Victor Ibanez, Sandra Lanz On Sale Date: 3/27 32-page, full color comic $3.99 U.S.
FINAL ORDERS DUE 3/4 ON SALE 3/27
Artwork by Veronica & Andy Fish