Review: Velocity #4 — “Decoys” Conclusion

Well, it took a year, but Ron Marz and Kenneth Rocafort’s miniseries about Cyberforce’s speedster is complete. Was the final issue worth the wait?

Yes! The miniseries as a whole is a fun, super-speed adventure that’s surprisingly new-reader-friendly, and the conclusion delivers.

Velocity: What, you weren't expecting me?As it starts, this chapter seems to ignore the cliffhanger from the end of the previous issue (though it’s included in the recap), until you get to the second page and Velocity literally turns toward the reader and says, “What? You weren’t expecting me?” The conversational, almost playful tone of the series really takes over in this installment.

Kenneth Rocafort’s art is key to that tone. I’ve mentioned before that I really like the style and creativity, and this issue definitely wouldn’t have worked as well if Top Cow had decided to replace him in order to keep the book on a schedule. He does seem to have toned down the sexiness-for-the-sake-of-sexiness that tended to crop up in the earlier issues, to the point where I don’t think I would have been embarrassed to read this issue in public.

There’s a splash page in the middle that at first glance looks like it’s using one of the standard techniques to show super-speed in action, but in context, it means something else entirely. I won’t actually post it, though, since it’s a bit spoilery.

Rest assured, that seemingly impossible escape is explained (though not precisely in the way I predicted), and as the clock ticks down, Carin Taylor takes the fight back to the villain for a final, over-the-top spectacular confrontation with Dr. Paine. The twist reveal comes in about halfway through the issue, and not only plays fair with the audience (it’s all set up well ahead of time), but sets things up for an element in the final battle that takes “speedster vs. robots” to a new level.

The series ends with a nod to its beginning, and a reminder that while this might be a stand-alone miniseries, the lead character continues on as part of an ongoing universe.

A few thoughts that involve SPOILERS:

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When I read issue #3, I figured the simplest and most thematically appropriate solution was that the Velocity who was killed in Venice was one of the Veloci-bots. (Velocidroids?) The story is called “Decoys,” after all! Only rather than reprogramming them and sending them on their way, I figured she was still plugged into the computer system at Hunter-Killer, and controlling one remotely.

As far as reprogramming the Velocibots goes, I went back and looked at issue #2, and sure enough, there’s a gap in the countdown clock that lines up exactly with the flashback. That said, there’s a big plothole there: If that timer is accurate, why did the bot sent to Venice not get started until the one in the Rockies was done? And why did the real Velocity not reach her sister until after the one in Venice was finished? It would make more sense if they’d all been working at the same time — but then it would have given away the surprise.

Like The Flash, Velocity suffered from a lot of delays. It was originally solicited as a monthly book from May-August 2010, and ended up coming out more or less quarterly instead. I wonder if it would have been less frustrating to wait for if it had been scheduled quarterly from the beginning. (Though considering the long, tortuous path it took to launch the miniseries in the first place, it’s impressive that we got the complete story!)

Velocity #4
Written by Ron Marz
Art by Kenneth Rocafort
Preview

See Also:
Review: Velocity #1
Review: Velocity #2
Review: Velocity #3

5 thoughts on “Review: Velocity #4 — “Decoys” Conclusion

  1. Savitar

    I appreciate the reviews. Was checking around to see if any potential TPB might be forthcoming for this, but if nothing else, I’ll track down the issues.

    Glad to see you’re enjoying one speedster book at least. 😉

    Reply
  2. Kamau

    This was a good issue. In fact it was a refreshing take on the speedster archetype, especially for those of us who are occasionally put off by the actions that strain credulity in DC’s comics. In fact there’s a funny moment in #1 where Velocity says that traveling through walls by vibrating one’s molecules is ridiculously improbable.

    Reply

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