Current Reviews


Velocity Pilot Season #1

Posted: Saturday, October 27, 2007
By: Ray Tate

Writer: Joe Casey
Artists: Kevin Maguire, Blond(c)
Publisher: Image

I never picked up an issue of Cyberforce. I never before encountered Velocity, but Kevin Maguire's design of her, his powerful poses for her, and Casey's handling of her narration tells me everything I need to know about her.

We first see Velocity delivering a kidney for transplantation to a hospital. Later, Casey in the narration gives the reader insight into how she thinks:

"Being Manipulated...Like this...I've been here before. Cyberdata worked like this. They used people. Used them to hurt people."

Velocity is concerned about the safety of others. She is altruistic. Velocity is a bona fide super-hero, and brother, I love super-heroes.

Casey adds a layer of complexity through the second half of the plot, which centers on Velocity, or if you prefer, Carin Taylor's personal life. These plot halves are distinctive but elegantly dependent on each other.

A sore shoulder acquired during her delivery leads to an examination, but this examination also allows for a peek inside Carin's skull. Casey uses the scene to simultaneously accomplish four things: to identify the source of Velocity's power, to introduce her date and potential love interest, to set up the villain pirating the scan of Velocity's skull and to kick off the conflict.

Maguire's visual development of the characters aids and abets Casey's intent to create a fun super-hero comic book. Maguire makes the villain look like a complete whack-job. He gives the loon a crazy haircut and overly dramatic body language, though restrains his "actor" from going completely over the top. The maniac at times literally salivates over his perceived victory, and there's something quite depraved in his lust for power.

The nutbar's henchwench is a classic badgirl with a penchant for naughty nurse outfits, cigars and rocket packs. Because Maguire takes great concern when depicting his characters and respects the rules of wardrobe, there's nothing salacious in her actions or her costume. Even the window giving a glimpse of her cleavage is practically Victorian when compared to the way most alleged artists widen Power Girl's white hole. The mad scientist's flunky in Maguire's hands appears to be nothing more or less than an updated gangster's moll.

Maguire's depiction of the madman's servant is a lumbering cross between Avengers Cybernaut and Rondo Hatton's the Creeper, seen in the Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes movies. Maguire contrasts these flamboyant characters against Velocity's subtler body language and multifaceted expressions. He never lets you forget how strong and confident this woman is. He instills intelligence to every one of her looks, and Casey exemplifies the truth in those many countenances when he has Velocity figuring out a way to stop the fruitcake from using her to destroy the world. Given that it's based on a minimal amount of scientific research, you can tickle me pink.

On the surface, the story is nothing more than good versus evil and a character piece giving Kevin Maguire the opportunity to strut his artistic stuff, but there's also an underlying theme in Velocity The Pilot Season. Casey shows the enormity of power Velocity possesses but through her characterization displays why she will never abuse that power. In so doing, he depicts the schism between those who do good and those who do evil.

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