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    Review: Incognito: Bad Influences #1

    By | October 31st, 2010
    Posted in Reviews | % Comments

    WRITER: Ed Brubaker
    PENCILS: Sean Phillips
    COVER: Sean Phillips

    LAST YEAR’S BREAKOUT HIT FINALLY RETURNS! By the award-winning team of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. One of the biggest Hollywood options of the year, nominated for THREE Eisner Awards, INCOGNITO is finally back for more! It’s apocalyptic pulp noir at its finest! It’s been over a year since Zack Overkill came out of Witness Protection to build a new life. But working for the government isn’t that different from being controlled by them, and his new secret identity is becoming more trouble than it’s worth! So what will Zack do when tasked with a mission that sends him on a hunt into darkest corners of the super-criminal underworld where he was raised? Also returning with Incognito are the exclusive Pulp magazine essays by Jess Nevins, Professor of pulp history, only available in the single issues of Incognito.

    It’s back! Zack Overkill and the book Incognito are back and in business, doing bad guy things for the good guys! It’s been a while since the previous run of Incognito; did it get back into the swing of things quickly? Or did it kill all hope of being good? Only one way to find out!

    I love this series. It’s such a fresh take on villains and heroes in comics. Telling the story from a reformed villains perspective, and not skimping on the fact he’s still a big douchebag who doesn’t like anyone or anything, and only joined up with the good guys because it was in his best interest (read: no jail time, gets to beat up people).

    Brubaker is a given in crime comics, and with his run on Captain America, he’s solidified himself as not only a crime writer, but a superhero writer as well. The world is simultaneously lush and unyielding; beautiful and harsh. Not many people in the top tier of Marvel can do it, and the only person I can think off the top of my head that CAN do it is Bendis. But I don’t even think Bendis could do it quite like this.

    And speaking of beautiful and unyielding, Sean Philips’ art is absolutely stunning. Brubaker and he are a natural team after all the work they’ve done together on Criminal and Incognito, and they once again show the well oiled team they truly are. Sean Philips is a great storyteller in his own right, with terrific action sequences and dark and moody noir-ish storytelling. He’s the perfect complement to Brubaker’s writing, and it shows on the finished page.

    My only issue with this series really is that it took a long time to set up the mini. This issue could have easily been half of the first issue, with a one-off explaining Overkill’s old man nemesis. The only problem with the last arc is that it wrapped up too quickly, giving it a rushed feeling. I hope that this isn’t a sign of things to come later in the series, since we conceivably have only 5 more issues to tell a seemingly intricate plot about espionage and double agents; along with what would seem to be these “bad influences.”

    Aside from my reservation, this is a fantastic book, but as the first page says “Zack was a supervillain in Witness Protection. Lots of bad stuff happened. You should pick up the trade collection to catch up, really.”

    You definitely need to read the first trade to fully understand things here. It will certainly help. The necessity to do so may or may not hurt it, however.

    Final Verdict: 7.5 – Buy

    Gilbert Short

    Gilbert Short. The Man. The Myth. The Legend. When he's not reading comic books so you don't have to, he's likely listening to mediocre music or watching excellent television. Passionate about Giants baseball and 49ers football. When he was a kid he wanted to be The Ultimate Warrior. He still kind of does. His favorite character is Superman and he will argue with you about it if you try to convince him otherwise. He also happens to be the head of Social Media Relations, which means you should totally give him a follow onTwitter.