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Velvet, Volume 1: Before the Living End
by Ed Brubaker, Elizabeth Breitweiser (Illustrator), Steve Epting (Illustrator)
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Guilty pleasure. The plot is a bourne identity/spy on the run type with a middle-aged female protagonist.
Good solid plot: a spy is killed for reasons unknown, and a mild-mannered secretary is drawn in, but she was a spy herself and quickly reverts back to her former self. Lots of people have likened Velvet to a "bad-ass Miss Moneypenny" if James Bond were killed. I liked the realistic graphics and cityscapes, but felt that too little progress was made in Volume 1.
review on my blog : http://www.susanhatedliterature.net/2014/12/velvet-before-the-living-end/
A tense spy thriller, Velvet Vol. 1 is the concept other reviewers say it is, but I found the swirling mysteries around Velvet Templeton even more interesting. Suffice to say, looking forward to more...
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When the world's greatest secret agent is killed, all evidence points to Velvet Templeton, the personal secretary to the Director of the Agency. But Velvet has a dark secret buried in her past...a secret that's about to tear her whole world apart.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)741.5 — The arts Graphic arts and decorative arts Drawing & drawings Cartoons, Caricatures, Comics
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I'm glad I picked this up after I finished Casino Royale. Brubaker and Epting set up a world very similar to the Bond universe, but with a darker tone. You might think of Ian Fleming while reading this comic book, but it different enough so it not the same thing.
Ed Brubaker is becoming one of my favorite writers in comic books now. Loved his run on Catwoman and Fatale is on of my favorite comic books. Velvet had the feel of both of them. One thing I always like about Brubaker was how he wrote his main ladies. He gives them so much history and personality. There never the good girl and nor are they the bad girl. They are in the middle where they don't want to choose a side. Which I like with some characters.
Another thing I like about Brubaker writing style is he really knows how to write noirs and thrillers. I read this one rather quickly, but he really draws you in on his narratives. I already want the second volume out.
The art work is really good too. Velvet is drawn similar to Josephine in a way, but an older looking Josephine. I like that she has a birth mark on the upper right side of her lip and how she has white streak in her hair too. Gives her character a unique look. My only complainant about the art in Velvet is some of the men look alike. If none of them are named well they are talking, I get confused sometimes.
I say if you want to read another Image comic with a strong female lead, this one is another good book. The fact Velvet is a middle-aged and still kicking butt makes you realize not every comic book hero has to be young. She is somewhere in her 40s if you do the math. However, if you wanted a female James Bond, this comic book finally delivers. ( )