Velvet is a creator-owned espionage series written by Ed Brubaker, the man whose fresh take on Captain America brought us the Winter Soldier, the Death and of Captain America, and Winter Soldier’s excellent first solo series. That alone should sell this book, but it can’t be said enough how brilliant Velvet is.
Velvet (the character) is a British secret agent from the 60’s whose been framed for the death of a fellow agent. The first issue introduced both the character and the situation perfectly, and the chase for evidence filled much of the second. This issue begins with breaking into a communist prison made to look easy. There are several twists and turns throughout as expected, but it’s always intriguing.
While the action and dialogue is solid, what really makes this comic feel special is Velvet’s narration. It really dives into a field agent’s mind, and in some ways it reads as a novel in how detailed it is. It also meshes with the art whenever she’s interrupted by a threat, giving it the feel of ones thoughts being interrupted. It uses the comic medium to its upmost capability. It’s also hilarious how nonchalant Velvet and her friend are about all the dead bodies they leave behind.
The art is also great, giving the story a 60’s vibe. It’s a relatively simple look that still has a lot of detail. Velvet’s design is distinctive, with a mole above her lip. She looks somewhat aged as an experienced agent should, but still pretty enough for the brief seduction scene in this issue. The streak of white hair gives her an extra touch of individuality. Other characters look interesting as well, and Steven Epting makes good use of environments and lighting to match the story’s mood.
If you need a break from the usual Superhero comic, this is perfect. It’s a great espionage story that’s told in a way only a comic/graphic novel can. What more do you need? Pick it up.