Ed Brubaker has made a career out of writing comics in the true crime and mystery genres. There are few people working in comics today that occupy this niche, and even fewer who can do it with as much talent and success as Brubaker.
In Velvet Vol. 3, Brubaker and his series co-creators bring things full circle in this trade paperback. Volume three marks the conclusion of the James Bond inspired tale first major story arc.
As a series, Velvet feels like the ultimate James Bond fan fiction story where Money Penny would have been the main character. The series is about a fit, but almost middle aged, secretary who works for a spy organization. To most people she is only known as a pretty face and a paper pusher, but like any good protagonist there is more to her then what is initially let on. In fact, Velvet was actually an elite spy that has since retired.
The series kicks off with Velvet taking too much interest in a particular case whereupon she is eventually framed for a murder, and is forced to go on the run from her previous employers. After globe trotting across the planet avoiding her pursuers she finally touches down in the United States in Velvet Vol. 3
This genre bending spy story, carefully manages to blend the realism of a Jason Bourne style story with the cool gadgets of a 1960s Bond film starring Sean Connery. Velvet is a compelling character who is a kick butt female lead. Her femininity is never made a detriment in this series, and is instead used to her advantage.
Artist Steve Epting and colorist Elizabeth Breitweiser are a match made in heaven. The realism and neo-noir style of Eptings work pairs perfectly with the heavy blacks, grays, and dark colors that Breitweiser uses to bring his artwork to life. The world of spies is one that takes place mainly at night, under the cover of dim lights, or in the shadows. With this pair working together they manage to perfectly capture the story’s moody serious nature.
Epting manages to perfectly capture the punches and kicks of Velvet in an almost timeless freeze frame. At other times the art feels kinetic and moves fast as a high speed chase ensues, and Velvet, in a wingsuit, flies to the rescue at 100 mph.
Brubaker delivers a thrilling conclusion to an outstanding and fun series with Velvet Vol. 3 This James Bond inspired tale is perfectly drawn thanks to artist Steve Epting and colorist Elizabeth Breitweiser working in tandem to create the dark shadowy world of international espionage.
- Velvet is kick ass
- Artwork perfectly captures mood and tone of the story
- High speed car chase that also involves a wingsuit