Storyline: A+

Artwork: A+

Ed Brubaker offers us another espionage thriller done in his classic dark and gritty noir style. But what is Velvet #1 all about and does it live up to the hype?

Image did itself a solid when they got Brubaker to write a comic under their publishing name. This is the man that brought readers some of the best Captain America work ever. He also wrote The Winter Soldier, so it is clear to see where he excels. He makes great characters greater whilst making their feats humanly possible. And Velvet Blonde is no exception to the rule. Our protagonist is definitely the strength of this book. It is great to see a strong female character headline a comic of this nature. This is espionage and usually it is always the guy who gets to spy and get the girl. So this is definitely a refreshing take on the genre.

Velvet is an inactive agent, in fact most people think that she is merely a secretary at this secret government agency. However, there is a new unknown threat in town, one that has led to one of the highest ranking agents being killed violently at a close range. For agents with their level of skills the killer had to be on the inside, someone that was allowed to get close. We are then treated to a brief history of Velvet and her relationship with the departed. It is here that Brubaker sets the scene for this new adventure and Velvet is given a serious character building focus that spans over a vast array of pages. We learn that she is one of the toughest and most seasoned agents that the agency had to offer. But she is rusty, and it is her days at the desk that end up putting her in the cross hairs of her own. She walks straight into a trap and is forced to pay closer attention to her experience as an agent.

Brubaker has stuck to his winning formula by getting Epting on art. Epting treats Velvet the same way he did Bucky and Steve, putting all his effort into the character. Focusing first on the character and then building the surrounding around her. The reader cannot help but feel that Velvet is the heart of this title. That this complex character is the reason why you will keep coming back to read more. Sure they throw in an action sequence but the majority of this book is comprised of dialogue that is enhanced even further through the use of great pencilling and colouring. Everything in this issue works well together and complements one another in order to introduce a new heroine to a male dominated genre.

Velvet is so much more than a female version of the regular male agent in an espionage genre. She is complex, intriguing and out for vengeance. This first issue is an amazing one and you could not have asked a new character to be introduced to the market in a better way than this. This issue treats Velvet Blonde as the star she is destined to be.

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