“A group of highly-trained spies and killers. And she’d played each of us… with ease. That was when I realized just how dangerous Velvet Templeton actually was.”
Welcome to another season of Storied Arcs! Mike and Alex are here to plunge head first into the world of espionage and intrigue as they break down Velvet Volume 1 Before the Living End (issues #1-5) by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting from Image Comics. The guys start by examining how the concept for Velvet fit into the wider pop culture zeitgeist surrounding spy fiction and “reboot” culture in the mid-2010s, and discuss how Brubaker and Epting’s clear love and appreciation for the classic spy stories they grew up on shines through in their story. Then they eventually get to talking about the comic, mainly highlighting the incredible colors by Elizabeth Breitweiser and the unique storytelling devices the team employs that only work in sequential art. Alex also bad-mouths baccarat, because it’s a silly game that seemingly only exists to be played by shady people in spy stories. No real person plays baccarat.
The conversation continues next week with Velvet Volume 2 The Secret Lives of Dead Men (issues #6-10), so pick it up wherever you get your comics and join us back here again for anther deep dive!