Velvet 7 (September 2014)

Velvet #7

Leave it to Brubaker–my favorite issue of Velvet so far and she isn't even in her own comic. Instead, it's Brubaker chronicling the efforts of two guys working for the agency (and neither seem to be the corrupt faction out for Velvet) trying to find her.

There's really good narration from the first guy, Colt, as Brubaker takes him through the first half of the comic. The guy's figuring out how Velvet's working, which is subtle at first but then gets more important. He's also surprised at himself–the character, not Brubaker–for missing the signs of Velvet being a master spy.

The second guy is Colt's boss and he's also got a path to go on to figure things out. Brubaker never forces the narration, never does anything obvious. When the boss figures out Velvet's next step, it's a huge surprise for the reader.

It's an outstanding issue. Brubaker nails it.

B+ 

CREDITS

The Secret Lives of Dead Men, Part Two; writer, Ed Brubaker; artist, Steve Epting; colorist, Elizabeth Breitweiser; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editor; David Brothers; publisher, Image Comics.

Manifest Destiny 10 (September 2014)

Manifest Destiny #10

Dingess just can't stop with the cliffhanger problems. Manifest Destiny always has these fake cliffhangers, where Dingess is teasing what ever is going to happen next and it usually is a character's intention, not an outside event. It's an interesting narrative device, but Destiny isn't character driven. If it were, such cliffhangers might make sense.

Most of the issue is good. There's a blowout between Lewis and his female assistant and it's pretty good stuff. Dingess definitely knows how to do the talking heads scenes to give them weight; they're nice and layered. Sadly, it comes right before a confusing montage. Roberts visually implies a mutiny, which doesn't correspond to the actual scene content at all.

There's some good Sacajawea action, even though it's off-screen–Dingess can't seem to figure out what to do with her.

But the series feels a little stuck… appropriate given the expedition is, quite literally, stuck.

CREDITS

Writer, Chris Dingess; artist, Matthew Roberts; colorist, Owen Gieni; letterer, Pat Brosseau; editor, Sean Mackiewicz; publisher, Image Comics.

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