Source: Velvet #1
Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s newest collaboration, Velvet #1, premieres this week. The team of Brubaker and Epting, who are probably best known for their popular and critically acclaimed run on Captain America, go back to their roots with this new spy thriller. Equal parts James Bond and Bourne Trilogy, Velvet hits all the right notes in this intriguing opening issue.
The issue opens with an X-Operative from the Arc-7 spy organization being killed in action during a mission. The X-Operatives are a clandestine and very dangerous group of Arc-7, a spy organization so secret most don’t even hear rumors of its existence. As more details come to light about the X-14’s murder, more questions begin to arise as it becomes apparent that there is a mole in the organization. The story centers on Velvet Templeton, the secretary of Director Manning of Arc-7 who is much more than she seems. As more and more details come to light about X-14’s murder it’s clear that there is much more going on and that Velvet is at the center of it all.
Brubaker’s writing in the issue is fantastic as he creates the groundwork for a whole new Bond-esque world. The pacing of the issue is perfect as it creates tension throughout, until finally snapping in a gunfight at the end of the issue. The characterization in the issue is minimal with the exception of Velvet. But that’s to be expected in an opening issue as setting the plot and story is more important than in depth characterization at this point.
Epting’s art is spot on as well. The action scenes are drawn with all of the energy you would expect. All the characters are very unique, with Epting capturing all of the emotion perfectly in the issue. From the dour briefing rooms to the rooftop champagne parties, nothing is out of place and everything fits perfectly.
The issue also has all of the must have elements of a spy thriller; fast cars, beautiful women and deadly secret agents. Except in this story the last two happen to be one in the same. Brubaker and Epting have created the beginnings of a great spy thriller, and hopefully the series continues to impress.