Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Steve Epting
Colorist: Elizabeth Breitweiser
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Review: Tom Barnett
I’m late to the game when it comes to this book. I picked up issues one and two at the same time about two weeks before issue three came out. I didn’t pick it up right away, because the spy genre has never really been my type of story. The manager of my local comics shop listed this book as his favorite of 2013. Everyone was abuzz about this book on Twitter, so I relented and bought the first two issues. Damn, I’m glad I did.
Issue three picks up right where issue two left off, with Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting delivering a tense thriller. The pacing on this book is absolutely perfect. Brubaker’s opening scene shows Velvet breaking into a prison and dispatching a guard. The story then shifts back three days earlier to reveal how Velvet came to this spot. This story is skillfully told to keep the reader in suspense. There’s no reason it has to unfold in a linear fashion and Brubaker makes great use of flashbacks.
Steve Epting is doing fantastic work in this book. I love the look he has given Velvet with the shock of white hair. I also love the fact that he is realistically portraying her as a 42 year old spy. There’s no boob job here. She’s not running around in only a thong and sports bra and she doesn’t have big pouty red lips. Epting uses his panel layout like the bullets that are being fired in the story. They hit the mark every time. He cleverly mimics the action of Burke drawing his gun in an early scene through his panel layout and perspective. I also enjoyed the spotlighting of characters at a party Velvet infiltrates.
This book is just so good. Every element of the story is well done. Colorist Elizabeth Breitweiser keeps this book dimly lit as you would expect a spy story to be taking place mostly in the dark. Not so dark that you can’t see the action though. There’s also a shipyard scene where just the use of white space makes the page pop.
Seriously people, if you haven’t hopped on this ride, do so. These books aren’t that expensive and you’re getting a high quality story. Reading Velvet is like holding a movie in your hands. Velvet is the real deal and I love it.
Tom is a contributing writer for Drunk On Comics. You can follow him on Twitter at @tphoto10.