INDEPENDENT COMIC-BOOKS

VELOCITY #1-3 (ORIGINAL MINISERIES)

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So like I said when I reviewed the 2007 Top Cow Pilot Season Velocity one-shot and the 2008 4-issue follow-up miniseries, there had been a 3-issue Velocity miniseries released back in 1995, which I’d bought at the time because I was a huge fan of most Image Comics titles back then, including Marc Silvestri’s Cyberforce, the team Velocity debuted in. But I no longer had those issues, as I’d gotten rid of many comics over the years. After reading those new comics I felt compelled to track down that original series so I could read it again. It’s not available digitally, so I had to go on Ebay, and I found a cheap enough batch of all 3 issues.

Written by Kurt Busiek with pencils by Anthony Chun and inks by Aaron Sowd issue #1 finds Cyberforce in California, on the trail of a mysterious serial killer who is tracking down and killing mutants like them. The authorities aren’t taking this as serious as they could, because they don’t like mutants anyway (yes, early Cyberforce was pretty thematically similar to the X-Men). Soon an angry mob of humans gather and start shouting and throwing stuff at Cyberforce, who are forced to leave. During these events we get a lot of inner monologue from Velocity, as well as conversations with her teammate Heatwave, which reveal some of Velocity’s background and her insecurities about her place on the team. She’s frequently afraid, and worries that means she’s not cut out to be a superhero, and even acknowledges the fact that her only power is to run away really fast. She ends up getting separated from her team, and is confronted by the killer, a big shape-shifting monster calling himself Charnel. He basically taunts her, dares her to run and then says he can track her anywhere, and that if she contacts any of her teammates he’ll kill them.

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Velocity has run to Chicago, where she’s meeting with guest-star Savage Dragon (who was still a Chicago police officer at the time). They help her investigate Charnel’s background and who he is and what motivates him. He catches up with her Chicago, and Dragon and his allies help her fight him. But she ends up leaving because she doesn’t want to put them in danger.

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And then in the final issue, it’s the big showdown. Velocity realizes that she has nowhere left to run to, and it’s time face her fears head on.

This was a very good series, and it makes me wish Busiek could have written an ongoing for Velocity back then, as I think he really had a handle on the character. The way he parallels Velocity’s current fight with Charnel with her abusive childhood and her initial abduction by Cyberdata all connects effortlessly. And the way he writes her personality, she just feels like a “real” young woman, not sure about her place in the world (Hell, we’ve all been there). And Chun and Sowd’s artwork here is beautiful. Chacebook rating: FIVE STARS

Currently out of print, hopefully it will be made available (legally) digitally one day, as it’s a great companion to the later series. For now, if you’re interested, try EBAY

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