Spy fiction can be difficult to do successfully. Its well-worn tropes make it difficult to play seriously, but its already over-the-top nature also makes it difficult to parody—or at least, difficult to parody well. It takes a lot of talent and careful effort to craft a compelling, entertaining spy story. Velvet has been succeeding in that task with flying colors, though, and I’m pleased to note that Issue #4 is no exception.
The titular Velvet, top spy turned secretary turned rogue agent, is still tracking down clues to Agent X-14’s murder and who’s framing her for it. After her last efforts went spectacularly wrong, she now finds herself at a bal masqué with the crème de la crème of society—as well as of the espionage world—to meet a freelancer who might have information she needs.
The artwork especially stands out in this issue, as the lavish party where most of the action takes place lends itself to particularly vivid and even surreal visuals. The action itself, though, is what makes the issue—and the whole series, for that matter—such a fun read. The well-worn tropes mentioned earlier are done in a way that makes them feel familiar, while still managing to be fresh and interesting.
The story is well written, capturing our interest from the very beginning and holding it throughout, and delivering a plot that manages to be complex without being convoluted. There are frequent twists and turns, but Velvet’s mission and motivation remain the same, and everything that happens serves to build towards her ultimate goal.
Velvet so far have been quite good, but I feel like Issue #4 stood out as being especially fun. If you’re into spy fiction and action/adventure stories, you should definitely check this one out.