Velvet #1 (Image)


Rating: 5/5 – Practically Perfect in Every Way (w/apologies to MP).

Ed Brubaker + Steve Epting.  I’m guessing a lot of people had high expectations for this title, I know I did.  Many times high expectations set me up for a disappointment which is why I was so pleased to have this issue firing on all cylinders.

If you love espionage thrillers this is going to be right up your alley.  Velvet Templeton is not the simple secretary she may seem to be on the surface in this period piece (set in 1973) but she’s much more than that.  How much more is hinted at in this issue with very strong evidence supporting the reveal at the end that people who read internet interviews & solicitation text knew going in.  Velvet Templeton is a strong female lead, in both the physical sense kicking asses and taking names, and also in character, intelligence, and wit.  Brubaker pulls out the stops in this story, I really thinks he keeps his best stuff for the creator-owned books and who can blame him?

Steve Epting knocks it out of the park, transitioning easily from brightly lit to heavily shadowed environments, portraying characters that really feeling like they are interacting with their environment instead of being posed against a background.  Epting nailed his portrayal of Velvet with a lot more range to facial expressions than many artists, from the slight smirk in panel 3 of page 11 to the furrowed brow while studying reports on page 17.

Expanding the 1st issue to 27 pages was also a nice touch.  The extra scene in the last 5-6 pages that would have otherwise been omitted was key to me awarding this book a perfect 5/5.  Hopefully your store will have copies of this one on hand, I’m thinking this will be the latest “Image #1 sell-out” resulting from stores ordering at regular “indie book” levels and getting huge demand from word of mouth by people who have read it.  Buy this book!

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall – Covering the full spectrum of comics culture

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