Velvet Templeton is the highest level secretary within ARC-7 a spy ring so secretive that it is thought of as myth. She works closely with the Director and has intimate information on the agents. A photographic memory and a thorough knowledge of the operation have helped her immeasurably. But the desk was Velvet’s “consolation prize,” her “real life died long ago” but due to two things that lead her into trouble she finds herself resurrecting that old life.
The story of Velvet begins again in the pages of Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s “Velvet” #1 from Image Comics. The creative team that revolutionized “Captain America” in 2004 reunites for a thrilling take on the espionage genre and a Girl Friday who is so much more than she seems.
Brubaker's story comes through narrative captions that give voice to Velvet as she works the desk she is assigned. One of the ARC-7 operatives has been killed in the field, his last thoughts were of Velvet, and the investigation is something that has become personal for her. The captions give a great overview of the events that suggests much more happening within the story with an enormous amount of subtext.
The murdered agent, X-14, is the first to catch onto how dangerous Velvet really is, but the circumstance he delivers this epiphany generates intrigue into a woman who is much more than she appears. The words are carefully chosen and used to convey insight in a story loaded with nuances.
An expert storyteller in his own right, Epting’s artwork is outstanding in “Velvet” #1. The mood of the issue is defined but one line “a little too professional…but with a strong undercurrent of anger.” Evoking that sentence the art takes on such strong meaning for the issue. These are the world’s top spies, their work is serious and everything they do is a matter of life and death. Epting brings out that quiet anger in the faces of everyone from the Director to Velvet as one of their own was lost in a manner that just can’t happen.
The realism of the story is brought out in the colors of Elizabeth Breitweiser. The hues stay true to the professional feel as the walls within the agency headquarters are cool and without distinction. The colors come alive away from the office as the streets of New York are lit up with an afterhours-illumination that makes the setting ring true.
The “Velvet” series is not one to miss out on. The level of espionage that Brubaker and Epting are building is intriguing and the developing story is must read material. The real story of Velvet is coming out and her history is a compelling addition to the world of super spies.
The initial printing of “Velvet” #1 sold out at the distributor level, but many comic book shops will still have this issue on hand to meet the demand. If they don’t have the issue be sure to tell them to hold a copy of the second printing that is on its way. To find your local retailer click here to use the Comic Shop Locator.
Can’t wait to get to the store? Read “Velvet” #1 instantly through ComiXology.com’s digital platform.