Velvet 3 (January 2014)

I wanted this issue to be better. It’s decent, but Brubaker is moving things along quickly. He’s changing the narrative structure up, which is a little confusing, and Epting doesn’t really have any indicators to make it a seventies setting. I forgot it didn’t take place in the present until a line about Soviet Russia. Brubaker’s confident and enthusiastic, which is great for him–who’d want to read a comic the writer isn’t jazzed writing–but it’s iffy for the reader. The series isn’t episodic, it needs some cohesion and a couple flashbacks don’t cut it here. The story itself is simpler than it…

Velvet 2 (December 2013)

I like this issue a lot more; I couldn’t figure out for a while, then I realized… it’s basically a lengthy Steve Epting action sequence. Velvet escapes, runs, escapes again. Brubaker juxtaposes her story against some guys at her agency talking about her. It’s great, fast but filling. The only parts giving me pause are some of the stylistic choices for flashbacks and then the fictional super spy agency. Maybe for Epting to keep his schedule, the flashbacks, which took up at least two pages and showed single panels of Velvet’s illustrious career, are necessary. But they bring the issue to a…

Velvet 1 (October 2013)

If I have to talk about Velvet in terms of good and bad, I don’t think I’ll enjoy the conversation very much. In this first issue, Ed Brubaker brings in one of his familiar tropes–the person with the secret, extraordinary past; one problem with writing a lot of comics, your standards become very, very obvious. The title character, Velvet, seems to be a mild-mannered secretary at a super-secret spy agency who sleeps with all the agents before they go out on dangerous missions. The truth? Well, it’s not clear yet, but I’ll bet she was the greatest spy the agency ever had…