By: Ed Brubaker (writer), Steve Epting (art), Elizabeth Breitweiser (colors) and Chris Eliopoulos (letters)
The Story: Velvet tracks down a former KGB operative for assistance.
The Review (with SPOILERS): Another strong issue of Velvet. That’s to be expected at this point. You really wouldn’t expect this creative team to be tossing stinkers. But having an issue like this allows you to appreciate some of the little things that make this such a special comic series. You know how sometimes you see a comic from new(er) creators and it has some crazy-brilliant stuff, but also some things that just don’t work? Not a problem here. All of the creators on this series know what will/won’t work in a comic book.
Let’s look at some of the clever stuff that gives this comic a little more…
- Clever lettering: I can’t even type it here easily, but Chris Eliopoulos does this clever thing of making the Russian assassin say “sorry” by reversing the two Rs in “SORRY”. It’s just a little trick that makes the guy sound like a James Bond villain in your mind, or Ivan Drago. It’s important because there is nothing visually distinctive about a “Russian Assassin” – they are just white guys in tuxedos. It’s just a little thing that makes the comic more effective AND it keeps Steve Epting from being tempted to somehow make the guys look Russian (however you do that) or make them spout some expository dialog during the fight (“Capitalist dogs!!!”).
- Older, more “mature” hero: I loved the scene of Velvet getting ready for the Carnival of Fools. She is still undoubtedly attractive, but she’s also in her 40s and things aren’t quite as firm or as lean as they used to be. She’s not Kate Upton anymore. In fact, if this were a real life movie, there would be a misogynist article or two about how it was time for Velvet to keep her clothes on. Here in this comic, it’s just a very effective reminder that she isn’t 22 anymore. It’s amazing that Epting can capture the little subtleties of a mature woman.
- Velvet casing the party: When she is in the party and looking for targets, Epting uses this trick of drawing a detailed image of a single person inside a little ~1 inch circle and then having the rest of the party be vague. It’s just a nifty way of showing, “I am focused on YOU…” It’s also pretty accurate; if anyone has ever been in a crowded room and scanned it for threats or pretty girls or your spouse, you know the feeling of being hyperfocused and the rest of the room being reduced to white noise.
- Masks!: It is really hard to draw and color realistic masks. Do it wrong and the depth gets all wonky and the mask looks like it is floating in space in front of the person’s face. I’m not talking about a superhero mask either, those are just colored skin. These are masks like you and I would WEAR that are sitting just off your face. Super job by Epting and colorist Breitweiser.