Review: VELVET #3

Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Steve Epting, Elizabeth Breitweiser
Published by Image Comics
Release Date: January 15, 2014

velvet03_coverVelvet Templeton, you kick all the asses.

Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting and Bettie Breitweiser are giving readers the greatest spy movie they’ve never seen as Velvet #3 takes us through twists and turns with every page. Brubaker’s script is, quite simply, brilliant. His voice for Velvet is absolutely fantastic, and his comfort with this type of story is noticeable. The world he is building here is totally in his wheelhouse and his comfort within it will make readers feel comfortable in this world as well. The script is tight and it feels throughout the issue like any small detail could be immensely important down the line. Brubaker’s Velvet is an exceptionally intelligent character, so comfortable in spy life that falling back into “agent'” mode, even after almost two decades, is like nothing and watching this master-spy at work in this issue is flat-out entertaining. As the series progresses we are slowly learning more about Velvet, and more facets of her personality are starting to show. In ‘agent mode’ she is calculating and skilled: almost running on auto-pilot at times. While dealing with guards/goons/henchmen it is obvious that ice runs through her veins and she is calculating her next moves to get closer to solving this mystery. During her conversations with Burke, however, we see a more self-conscious side of her character, aware that she’s a 42 year old doing the kind of work she last did in her twenties. There is a sense of humour and sassiness that comes out in her interactions with Burke and I hope this duo plays off of each other more in the future, though readers really have no clue what is coming next in this story. More so than in his Marvel work, you truly never know what will happen in Velvet and there are shocking moments in this comic that make the story all the more realistic and electric. This is a dangerous world Velvet is in and the stakes (and players) can change with a moment’s notice. A spy-based thriller should keep you on your toes, and Brubaker does that in spades in this issue. At the end of the day, this is an extremely well written comic. A modern master of spy/espionage stories is working his magic again, and issue #3 is just as strong a chapter in the tale of Velvet as those that have come before it.

Epting and Breitweiser take Brubaker’s script to the next level with phenomenal art in Velvet #3. The world of Velvet looks and feels completely realistic, enhancing the constant feeling of tension throughout the issue. Epting’s use of shadow in this issue is brilliant, framing shots wonderfully and really driving home the espionage/spy aspect of this story. Epting’s artwork is full of subtle details that give these characters so much life and personality, from little smirks and a glimmer in the eye, to a casual demeanor when facing the barrel of a gun. The calm, cool, and collected nature of Velvet is captured perfectly in this artwork and it is obvious Epting is dialed in to these characters and this world. His artwork is extremely detailed, to the point of this comic reading just like if a person was watching a spy film. The pacing and panel structures are brilliant, with the story flowing effortlessly through the pages. Elizabeth Breitweiser’s colour work takes the artwork up a notch, giving it an extra layer of richness and depth. Her colours have the title character jumping off the page, even within crowds of people and the world of Velvet really feels brought to life by her work.

Velvet #3 is an excellent comic and fantastic chapter in one of the best series on shelves today. This comic is a must read for any fans of the spy genre, and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the recently released Black Widow #1 from Marvel. Velvet is a rich story with complex characters and twists that will keep you wildly entertained. These creators are at the top of their game (which is saying something) and this series is not to be missed.

The Verdict: 10/10


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