Review by: Tork

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Avg Rating: 4.1
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Size: pages
Price: 3.50

If you pick up a comic and it says it’s written by Ed Brubaker and drawn by Sean Phillips, there’s a few unspoken things that go along with it.  Chances are it’s going to be about a morally fractured, cynical main character trapped in a web of lies and deception.  It’ll probably also have a lot of sex as realized through the equally morally fractured female lead.  There will blackmail and murder and lots and lots of cursing.  It will also be awesome.

Incognito is a lot like what you’d expect from Brubaker and Phillips.  It’s gritty and dirty and also very very good.  For those who didn’t read the first issue, the main character, Zach, is a former supervillain in Witness Protection whose starting to slide back into the life of ultraviolence and superpowers.  Zach isn’t a spectacularly bad person, his “illegal” activities mostly consisting of finding muggers and rapists to beat up.  He mentions he has no real affection for the people he saves, but the fact that this former villain isn’t going of on an Alex DeLarge-esque rampage says something.  In fact, this issue shows the supprting characters are in a way more screwed up than he is.  Still, that ending, that Criminal: Bad Night-esque feel that things are going to bad and worse and worse before the tale is over– that’s the kind of stuff I expect out a Brubaker/Phillips project.

Nevertheless, there’s a different ingredient thrown in the mix and that’s the pulp.  Criminal had the crime pulp, yet Incognito throws in a bit more of the science fiction/super-heroics in as well.  The mad scientists cutting heads open.  The glowy eyed super-crimelord looking for revenge.  While Criminal was the homage to the classic crime comics, this is clearly steeped in the kind of pulp Shadow/Phantom adventures of yore.  It’s only lightly touched upon here, but it will be a prominent feature later on, to be sure.  Speaking of which, there’s a fantastic pin-up of Doc Savage by Sean Phillips in the back with accompanying essay.  It’s just a well crafted product by some of the best creators in comics and it’s worth your money, to be sure..

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 5 - Excellent

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