This issue of Velvet offers something different; an opportunity to get to know the protagonist a little better as you visit her inspirations and intimacies in a rather emotional issue. The action is there, but this issue is placing its strength in the hands of its writing. This is something that can be done with ease when your writer is Ed Brubaker.
Brubaker gives the reader an opportunity to get inside the head and heart of Velvet in this issue. The reader gets to see who managed to get close to the lead character as the layers that cover her history are peeled away little by little. Issue 5 is realistic and story driven and the art makes it read even better. Even when the timeframe of the story jumps quite drastically, from the protagonists teen years to present day, the quality of illustration remains the same. The opening of the book is a strong contrast, showing just how tainted and dark espionage has made Velvet’s life as it goes from brightly coloured happiness to panels filled with darkness. All the lies and the false identities make it difficult to remember what reality is and what is not, even when your closest friend becomes your deadliest enemy. The illustrations used in the main action sequence of the issue are raw and real, adding to the nature of this thrilling title.
Another great offering in this issue is the Velvet Underground letters section. In this issue Ed Brubaker talks about Marvel Studios’ Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Ed shares his feelings on seeing his story being brought to life and how proud it made him feel. The letters section in this issue is long but well worth it, especially if you wish to find out more about the the creators and the influences that are guiding this great title.
Velvet #5 is a solid read that offers a little bit of personal history to this already popular protagonist. It is a great to see that this trained killer is not stone cold. This makes her a bit easier to relate to and understand – adding that sense of reality to a genre that needs it most. Velvet is not a programmed killing machine. She is a human and it is her humanity that drives her through each issue in this great series.