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Shadowhawk Reviews @ImageComics Velvet #1


Here is today's Guest Review by Abhinav Jain from Shadowhawk's ShadeThe Founding Fields, and Just Beyond Infinity, for Image Comics' Velvet #1. I have also added my rating after each review. If you have any questions about my rating or want to discuss anything just leave me a comment.


See the Review Rating Overview page for more information on how I rate each comic.



Velvet #1 - Before the Living End


ED BRUBAKER and STEVE EPTING redefined Captain America with the “Winter Soldier” saga... and everything they've done so far has been leading to VELVET! When the world's best secret agent is killed, Velvet Templeton, the Personal Assistant to the Director of the Agency, is drawn off her desk and back into the field for the first time in nearly 20 years... and is immediately caught in a web of mystery, murder and high-octane action. Sexy and provocative, with a dark twist on the spy genre, this EXTRA-LENGTH first issue by two of the industry's best-selling creators will knock you out!

Preview



Revolver


One of the best ways to play the subversion card on the espionage/spy genre is to do a story with a female protagonist. This is a genre that is dominated by male characters, a legacy in part of the James Bond effect, and thus what female characters there usually are tend to be romantic interests with little agency beyond that, if any. They could even be rival spies and be as good as their male counterparts, but they still get reduce to their physical elements and are often sexualised in one way or another. And this is exactly what Velvet runs counter to.

Velvet Templeton, secretary to the Director of the British spy agency ARC-7, is the protagonist of this new creator-owned series by Brubaker and Epting, the collaborators behind the critically-acclaimed and fan favorite Captain America: Winter Soldier from Marvel. In this comic, Brubaker takes a traditional spy story but injects into it a lot of complexity and nuance, all of it fronted by Velvet as the titular heroine.

There’s a lot to be said for this comic because of that subversion card played by Brubaker and Epting. Velvet is a character who feels real and engaging because  even though she operates in a male-dominated world, she has carved out her own niche and has made the best use of her skills, some of which we see straight up in the early pages, and some that come as a twist later on towards the end of the issue. She’s not your typical character by any means and she has a very strong agency that helps her stand out. She’s introspective and thoughtful in equal measure even through the heavy narration that Brubaker employs for this first, extra-sized first issue.

I've read the first volume of Brubaker/Epting's Captain America and it is one of the best stories that I've read to date from Marvel. All the brilliance that these two brought to that series, they do so here as well. Right from the start, we get a lot to stick with the series, excellent characters, good pacing, good setting, good premise.

Read the rest of Shadowhawk's review on Here

Images Unplugged Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4
Art, Colors & Inking - 3
Layout & Flow - 4
Story - 5
Verdict - 4.1 (8/10)
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Shadowhawk is a blogger at http://sonsofcorax.wordpress.com/, senior reviewer for The Founding Fields book blog, a contributor to the Just Beyond Infinity mixed-content blog and a comic book reviewer at Comic Vine. The use of these reviews has been authorized by the original author.

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