Review: ‘Velvet’ #2

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An action-packed spy thriller, “Velvet” #2 is a rewarding read full of plot twists and tons of action. This story has a gun-toting femme fatale, high-ranking shadowy agents, and trained assassins. How can you tell there is a traitor in the group when everyone is pretending to live a double life?

WRITTEN BY: Ed Brubaker
ART BY: Steve Epting
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
PRICE: $2.99
RELEASE: Dec. 4, 2013

The underground organization, X-Ops, sent their top secret agent, Jeff Keller, on a dangerous assignment in Paris. When the mission turned into a disaster, Jeff was suddenly shot and killed at point-blank range. At the X-Ops headquarters in London, Velvet Temptation has just learned her ex-lover was murdered in cold blood. More than just an average secretary, Velvet will do anything to find Jeff’s killer and avenge his death. But, all the clues point to Velvet as the culprit responsible for the cold-blooded assassin plot. Framed for a crime she didn’t commit, Velvet is now on the run from her own people.

Writer Ed Brubaker uses inventive technological gadgets and exotic locations to spice up the espionage-driven narrative. Brubaker keeps the story flowing at a fast pace as he switches between two perspectives. We have the fugitive-on-the-run plotline as Velvet fights her way out of tricky situations. We then have the cat and mouse subplot as Sgt. Roberts investigates everything about his opponent. Though it’s never said a loud, Sgt. Roberts and Velvet respect each other because they’re both good at their job.

Brubaker is able to keep Velvet a mysterious figure even while providing glimpses of her past. Though Velvet acts like a bookish secretary at the X-Ops offices, she has been out in the field many times. Though readers don’t get any specifics, we get the idea that Velvet has had secret romances, escaped alive from deadly missions, and has been trained to kill. For me, the best part is that Brubaker allows Velvet to have fun while she is kicking butt.

Artist Steve Epting sure knows how to keep readers hooked with his action sequences. Taking a more realistic approach, Epting illustrates Velvet wounded and bleeding while she is on the run. After crashing through a window, Velvet limps her way down the stairs, while putting pressure on her bloody wound. You have this great shoot-out in the opening pages that turns into an even awesome car chase.
I particularly enjoyed how Epting illustrates Sgt. Roberts in his new character design. After taking a punch from Velvet, Sgt. Roberts now has a busted nose and a black eye. In his latest character design, Sgt. Roberts has bandages over his nose and forehead, with some bruises around his cheeks. In the opening pages, Epting delivers a great shot of the angry and beaten Sgt. Roberts as he smokes a cigarette in the rain.

Without taking a break, “Velvet” #2 continues to keep the excitement running at full speed. If you’re a huge fan of espionage thrillers, you’re definitely going to enjoy the action sequences in the “Velvet” series.

4/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – Jorge Solis