Velvet Templeton continues to dig up her past in an effort to secure a future as a living, breathing woman. Is it good?
Velvet #9 (Image Comics)
The meat of the story is told from Velvet’s perspective as she absconds with Damian Lewis, a war hero and former high ranking officer who allegedly went off the deep end. It is her hope that his last fourteen years spent in the looney bin will ensure that he is not part of the current plot to destroy her.
As the two avoid capture, he doles out bits of information that (predictably) show how he was framed for something horrible he didn’t do after learning too much. While Velvet (predictably) suspects that his story has some holes in it, a look in on her pursuers reveals that Damian was probably not as distanced from her current problems as she’d hoped.
During a train ride through Europe, he excuses himself to go to the bathroom… which (predictably) leads to Velvet finding herself hung out to dry.
Is It Good?
One of the best things about this series is how wonderfully it cribs classic spy genre tropes while giving them a fresh spin. Unfortunately, this one misses the mark on the “fresh” part.
Don’t get me wrong—a lot of it is still great. The opening reveal of how Velvet liberates/kidnaps Damian from custody is pretty cool. The scenes between the fugitive pair are also a real treat, crackling with tension and a perfect dash of dark humor (as do the bookend narratives of the men pursuing them).
But seriously… she let this shady dude with a checkered/traitorous past GO TO THE FREAKING BATHROOM ALONE…ON A TRAIN…AT NIGHT…IN EUROPE! I would have rolled my eyes at that if this story was written five or six decades ago. But with a character as smart and aware as Velvet, it’s jarringly absurd.
This, along with the issue’s general lack of action, definitely makes it one of the weaker (perhaps the weakest) of the series. Luckily, there’s still more than enough good stuff to make it worth buying. Steve Epting’s art is gorgeous as usual. Brubaker also gives us his usual top notch dialogue.
Let’s just hope that from here on out, the creators avoid easy spy genre plot props like the one that ended this issue…and that Ms. Templeton always accompanies her prisoners to the potty.