I’ve only reviewed a couple issues if this series, and that’s a shame, because it’s a great creator-owned espionage epic written by Ed Brubaker and drawn by Steve Epting. Today’s issue caps off the first major story, and in a great letter near the back of this book, Brubaker promises that he’s working on more Velvet stories to come.
Long story short, Velvet Templeton is an agent working for a fictional spy group in the 80’s, who was framed as a double agent early on in the series. Ever since then, she’s been on a quest to not only clear her name, but to figure out what’s going on. It’s a deep and complex story of cover ups, dangerous rogue agents and supposedly dead men ruling from the shadows. This issue concludes the story with a bunch of reveals, yet it doesn’t feel too exposition heavy thanks to the action, drama and arguments interwoven with the storytelling. Saying anything about how this issue or the story as a whole unfolds would spoil the fun, so let’s just say that it’s a satisfying conclusion. There’s a great chase scene, some brilliant deception on Velvet’s part and a bit of an open ended finale.
The art is great. There’s a clean, detailed look to everything, whether it’s the establishing panels with a wide variety of buildings in the background or the decorated offices in the agency’s headquarters in London. The action flows well, with angles that would work great in a movie, and plenty of debris when the shooting and explosions start. Facial expressions do a great job at showing characters’ emotions and thoughts, especially when [redacted] realizes that [redacted] isn’t dead. Elizabeth Breitweiser’s colouring is also good. Even though most of this issue takes place at night, whether in a darkened lab or outside, there’s plenty of colour when their needs to be. The red lights illuminating the side walk when there’s a brief fight scene works perfectly as well.
One part of me wishes I reviewed more issues in this espionage series. The other part of me realizes when there’s a series like this with such a complex plot going on, there’s only so much you can say about each issue without spoiling something, especially when they’re all good in the same way (even if a couple issues felt a bit slower). This is a satisfying conclusion to a story about an agent on the run, while uncovering a conspiracy within her agency and being forced to work with people who want her dead. Espionage fans who read comics should check this series out if you haven’t already.