Comic Vine Review

13 Comments

Velvet #4 - Before the Living End, Part Four Review

5

Masks. Murder. Monaco. Spy things, and plenty of 'em.

The Good

Reading VELVET is like watching a Bond film, if Bond shook all of the tropes and put on a pair of wicked heels. It's a swiftly-paced spy thriller with all of the accoutrements of the classics -- double agents, danger, and Baccarat -- but it's different, in more ways than just the lady lead. The old-spy-back-in-the-game thing is really working here, and the narrative is smooth, fast, and sprinkled with bits of nostalgia so genuine that they feel like our own -- if we were super spies, that is.

Velvet Templeton is a powerhouse, and Steve Epting gives her plenty of bold, dynamic panels in which to show that off. It's a rare lady that can kick a man in the face while wearing a voluminous ball gown, and I love seeing this contrast to the sleek attire most action hero(ine)s have. She's glamorous and powerful, all at once.

The genre lends itself well to exotic locales and scenarios, and we're treated to those again this issue -- sweeping from Belgrade to Monaco, where the world's elite are masked, mingling, and primed for adventure. Escapism? The best. Epting's environments are given lush sweeps of color courtesy of Elizabeth Breitweiser, who also sets tone impeccably with just the right lighting and palette selections, and the Carnival of Fools looks deliciously inviting (unless someone's gunning for you).

The issue wraps with a well-timed hook; it's one that leans into the usual spy genre tropes, but in a fabulous way. Velvet is still so mysterious that these links to her past are both functional and fascinating. That next issue needs to arrive, stat.

The Bad

There's a lettering cue that bugs me -- Russian accents are denoted by backwards capital "R"s (and a few other characters), and the Cyrillic character that most closely resembles a backwards "R" is pronounced way differently. The effect is consistent, so it won't bother everyone, but I can't un-see it.

The Verdict

It's no accident that Image gave Ed Brubaker a green-light contract; the man produces incredible work, and always partners with dynamo art teams to deliver comics worth reading twice -- once in single issues to get the next layer of story, and then again in trade because they're worthy of the shelf position. VELVET is the lady-led spy comic we didn't even know we wanted, and it's one to look forward to every month.

15 Comments
Edited by ZbvmX

Velvet Templeton might just be the SEXIEST character in comics right now (well, at least for me). I don't see myself dropping this time any time soon. Maybe ever :P

Posted by manwithoutshame

Love this series!

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Such a fantastic book, Brubaker is the boss of all bosses

Posted by iaconpoint

@jonny_anonymous: Yuh yuh. I really need to check out his back catalog. To not do so would be... Criminal!

Cause one of his other books is called Criminal.

Hello? Anyone still there?

Posted by judasnixon

Eisner please.........

Edited by Jonny_Anonymous

@jonny_anonymous: Yuh yuh. I really need to check out his back catalog. To not do so would be... Criminal!

Cause one of his other books is called Criminal.

Hello? Anyone still there?

>_> lol

Posted by Fallschirmjager

I'm glad you did a review on this. This serious has been so fantastic.

Not to mention every time you read it you get nostalgia feels from Ed/Epting's Cap.

Posted by longbowhunter

New issue of Velvet, new episode of the Americans. What a spy-tastic Wednesday.

Posted by CaptainHoopla

This series has been perfection. Really loved the brutal fight scene in this issue.

Posted by The_Titan_Lord

Nice.

Edited by consafo80

Great book, I'm really enjoying it. First Bruebaker book I've read. I'll be pulling whatever he does next that's for sure.

Posted by jdp180

@zbvmx said:

Velvet Templeton might just be the SEXIEST character in comics right now (well, at least for me). I don't see myself dropping this time any time soon. Maybe ever :P

Sexier than Dana Cypress from Revival?

Posted by J_HickmanIsGod

@consafo80: go back and read all of his past stuff. honestly Velvet has YET (<-- keyword there) to come close to his other past works.

Fatale

Sleeper

Icognito

Criminals series

his run on Catwoman was amazing and highly underrated