I want to apologize for the tardy reviews this week. Over the past month or so, my graduate program has been winding down, culminating in today. I finished writing a grant proposal and a few other assignments, and have now finished all my coursework for my Master’s degree. Though it’ll be a little bit longer before I officially graduate, it’s almost assured that I will, at which point I will be unemployed and unable to afford comics. So let’s hope the next couple weeks brings us some good stuff!
I have been lax, very lax indeed, in my reviews of the new collaboration between Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. Though #4 made last month’s Top 5 list for me, there was no review, and hasn’t been one for a number of issues. Now, I remedy that.
Incognito #5 picks up pretty much right where the last issue left off, with rogue supervillain Ava Destruction finding Zack Overkill, taking out his protection and joining him on the run. The issue is fairly light on the action compared to some past installments, but it’s still one of the best to date: it gives us some much needed backstory, both on the world and on Zack Overkill’s place in it. The book gives us a number of origin stories in broad strokes, introduces a number of new conflicts, and generally just keeps the book moving at a breakneck pace.
Phillips is as good as ever, jumping seamlessly from flying cars and mad-science labs to rustic inns and dive bars. His shadowy, angular art, always a perfect fit for Brubaker’s noir-tinged worlds, is a surprisingly excellent feel for the sci-fi superhuman parts, too.
Incognito is a book that isn’t afraid to shake up the status quo. It seems like almost every issue features a fairly drastic change to Zack’s life. Somehow, though, the tone of the series has remained remarkably consistent, each issue satisfying in and of itself while still feeling as though they are all building towards something greater. Incognito remains one of Marvel’s most satisfying reads, a great addition to their Icon imprint, and definitely worth a look for those of you not yet read.
– Cal Cleary