Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews

Velvet #1Velvet #1
Image Comics
Brubaker & Epting

By now it should be pretty clear what kind of comic books Ed Brubaker writes. He writes noir-ish stories that rely on inner narration. His stories use dark characters that are likeable, but are not typically heroes. There is always a seedy element to their personalities and it makes the books feel like they are more easily placed in real life. This book takes that very approach but throws it into the spy genre circa the cold war. It's another good book from Brubaker.

While Brubaker and Epting made a great team at the helm of Captain America this book is not like that at all. Sure there is espionage and mysterious circumstances but this is more a darker James Bond story than Captain America. I was pleased to see the team made the transition so smoothly.

The book spends a lot of time setting up the world. Basically the reader is introduced to some of the special agents and their typical missions and day-to-day lives. When one of them is murdered the comic begins to pick up steam.

The lead character is a woman that has some interesting ties to many of the agents. She takes it upon herself to do some legwork off the radar and this leads to some trouble.

The beauty of Brubaker's comics is he sets a tone with the narration that lets you into the head of the lead character immediately. This style of writing is not for everyone and it certainly doesn't work for every writer but Brubaker makes it work. He manages to tie the elements of the hard-boiled nature of the characters as their actions show the reader just how they try to force the world around them to conform to their understanding of it. The comic book leaves off on a great note.

Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle ReviewsEpting's art is fantastic. Some many of the scenes are at night and command a darkness but Epting doesn't leave any of the details behind. His visuals are very reminiscent of a forty year old spy movie and it works perfectly with Brubaker's writing. Epting has a great depiction of the lead character as she presents an innocence at times and deadliness at others. The visuals work very well in this comic.

Velvet looks to be another hit for Brubaker and Epting. It will be interesting to see the depth to this story as the first issue is mostly world-building with a ton of back matter to round out the reading experience. This is a comic book to pick.

4 out of 5 Geek Goggles