Ah, the cold war of the 1970’s.
It’s fertile ground for stories, isn’t it? A time when truth is probably stranger than fiction. Spies. Secret agents. Enigmatic politics. Clandestine agendas. Shadowy organizations exerting influence over an unsuspecting populace.
Our world doesn’t currently have enough comic books set during the cold war!
Truth be told, our world doesn’t currently have enough comic books being written by Ed Brubaker.
Both of those issues get rectified with today’s release of Velvet #1.
Come and celebrate with me after the jump.
Written by: Ed Brubaker
Illustrated by: Steve Epting
Published by: Image Comics
When John le Carre’s novel, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, was released as a film in 2011, I celebrated. Not even having read the book, I was simply giddy. I had been thirsting for a think-piece spy flick for a long, long time. For whatever reason, they’re rare. The good ones, anyway. Tinker Tailor, with it’s exceptional ensemble cast that included Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Mark Strong and everyone’s favourite, Benedict Cumberbatch, didn’t disappoint. If you haven’t seen it yet, go find it and watch it now.
Also rare, are great spy comics. But with increasing interest in genre-flavoured comic book storytelling, that’s changing – and thankfully so.
Back after a year’s sabbatical from writing monthly comics, a year spent working in various media whilst quietly readying creator-owned projects, fan-favourite noir-writer Ed Brubaker is back. An award-winner on such titles as Gotham Central for DC Comics, Captain America, Daredevil, Criminal and Winter Soldier for Marvel Comics (all comics often praised here), Brubaker is back – this time at publisher Image Comics.
The new monthly series Velvet is set during the heyday of the cold war, 1970’s spy-laced America and Europe. Velvet Templeton is the Personal Assistant to the Director of the Agency, who must come back into active duty to investigate the killing of the world’s best secret agent. And just like those great le Carre novels, every character she encounters has a secret, every piece of evidence uncovered exerts a dark twist. Who can a spy trust in a world full of spies?
Perhaps the most interesting aspect to Velvet Templeton is that she is not your quintessential protagonist, not the typical main character found in most comic books, television shows or movies. Nope. Velvet Templeton is not a young up-and-comer. She’s a little older, a little wizened…and more than a little experienced. In today’s fictional climate, that makes her interesting.
Along for this great ride is artist Steve Epting, who worked with Brubaker on an acclaimed Captain America run – currently being adapted into the Cap’s cinematic sequel, sure-to-be blockbuster film, Captain America: Winter Soldier. His realistic and dark styling adds a tremendous atmosphere of apprehension, mystery and suspicion. This is a world that truly exists.
Make the run to your local comic book shop today and pick up Velvet #1 – just be ready for the twist, turns and non-stop spy-based action! Like me, I know you’re ready for it!
Every Wednesday, JP makes the after-work run to his local downtown comic book shop. Comics arrive on Wednesdays you see and JP, fearful that the latest issue will sell out, rushes out to purchase his copy. This regular, weekly column will highlight a particularly interesting release, written in short order, of course, because JP has to get his – before someone else does!