Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s winning partnership continues here in the second installment of their tough-as-nails spy thriller, set in early seventies London.  The lead character, Velvet Templeton has been framed as a murderer of her fellow spies and must go on the run.  Luckily, she’s secured a special stealth suit that allows her to glide on the wind.  Unfortunately, she hasn’t had any practice with it.  (Ouch!)

She is forced to battle her own fellow spies in order to escape and clear her name.  Fortunately, her superiors don’t believe she is a double agent, however they can’t figure out the truth, either.

This book is just extremely good.  This issue isn’t as “rich” as the first, which was seeped in early 70s grit and truly transported the reader to that era.  The timeframe is almost irrelevant in this issue, but in exchange the action is ramped up, so I guess there’s a balance.  Velvet is obviously quite formidable in her abilities, but we could probably use a bit further fleshing out.  She isn’t yet really likeable, so hopefully that will change as the series progresses.

Steve Epting’s gritty artwork is perfect for this subject matter.  He does a fantastic job all around, including a neat sequence of Velvet planning out her “next move” as she is avoiding capture in the present.  Then again, toward the end, there’s a fantastically lush sequence of Sgt. Roberts, the main agent pursuing Velvet as he reads through her case file.

If you’re interested in gritty noir, look no further.  The early 70s setting is unique for comic storytelling and works excellently here.  It’s just fresh and different.  It’s nice to break away from traditional super heroes every so often and Brubaker and Epting have delivered something really fantastic here.  Like I said, I didn’t quite love this issue as much as the first one, so I’m just going to deduct the tiniest bit, but I still heartily endorse this title.



Written by Ed Brubaker
Art and Cover by Steve Epting