by Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting & Elizabeth Breitweiser
Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting worked together for years on Marvel’s Captain America, which is probably the one of the best takes on that character ever. After Brubaker left Marvel to work on his creator-owned series, Fatale, and take his writing talents to other mediums, it looked like the dynamic duo would go their separate ways. Fortunately for us readers, they just couldn’t quit each other and we now get a new creator-owned series in the form of Velvet from these two and it is exactly the kind of story you want from them.
Velvet is a spy thriller set in the early 70’s that follows Velvet Templeton who is the secretary for the Director of ARC-7, a secret group of highly trained spies, but Velvet is much more than just a mere secretary. This feels like Brubaker brought all of the finer things from his previous work and was able to mix them all into one tasty dish. This issue does a great job and giving the reader an overall vibe of how the basics of ARC-7 work and introducing a few main characters all while setting up the main plot. For a first issue this did a great job of really immersing the reader into the story.
You can’t praise this book just because of the writing because Epting does an amazing job of really capturing the whole essence of the 70’s and still make compelling art that looks so real you think you’re watching a movie. The entire opening scene just screamed with James Bond influences, which does help make it easy for some readers to settle into Velvet. The other reason this might seem like watching a movie is because Epting’s art reads very smoothly from panel-to-panel. The coloring as well is one of those subtle things readers take for granted that set the overall tone of the book and help somehow capture the 70’s look.
It’s nice that we can sit back and enjoy a series that was forged from a long working friendship. Velvet truly does feel like both of these guys at the top of their game doing a series perfectly crafted to each of their artistic strengths. If you are a fan of either Brubaker or Epting then you probably already plan on getting this but I do suggest anyone who is looking for something new to get into and enjoy classic spy thrillers or just great crime mysteries to at least give this a shot.