Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s blockbuster spy series begins its third story arc. Is it good?
Velvet #11 (Image Comics)
The story opens with an agent named Max relaying the clichéd ins and outs of his life as a secret agent…until he is rudely/awesomely interrupted by a swift kick to the face courtesy of Ms. Templeton. Luckily, he seems to be quite smitten with her (can’t blame the guy), so he’s still more than willing to help her once she gets back into the United States.
Don’t even try and pretend you would have turned her down, either.
And just how is a wanted woman like Velvet Templeton supposed to sneak back into the country that is trying to hunt her down? Like a boss, that’s how. Using a potent blend of brains, sex, and physical prowess, she returns to what has become enemy territory with a plan in place to bring down the men who have ruined her life.
Is It Good?
Sounds like a pretty good issue, right? And it is…for the most part. Steve Epting once again treats us to a gorgeous fight/escape scene (brilliantly colored by Elizabeth Breitweiser) that reinforces what a supreme badass Velvet is. It’s also good to see her so focused and pissed off again.
On the other hand, we get yet another revelation of betrayal. I know it’s a common trope for this genre, but c’mon. This one felt so telegraphed that it hurt. To Brubaker’s credit, he uses this particular plot point to set up what should be an explosive showdown later on. He also makes the point at which the twist happens into something little more interesting than it normally is in a story like this. Velvet’s sexuality as a weapon could have been easily mishandled —- played off as her just attempting to be meek and subservient to men who thought they had the power over her. Instead, she uses it in a more Bond-esque fashion, drawing her targets in like a beautiful flower mantis instead of a fly pretending to be caught in a web.
And whether you agree with me or not about the twist being lame, I think we can all agree that it’s good to have Velvet up off the ropes again, ready to kick names and take ass.