Tag Archives: incognito

Underrated: Incognito

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Incognito


My local comic shop recently got the hardcover edition of Incognito in, and it last all of ten minutes on the table where it was in line for pricing as I picked it up and read what amounted to half the first issue before scooping it up before it ever actually made it to the shelf.

Written by Ed Brubaker, with art by Sean Phillips and colours by Val Staples, the hardcover collects both Incognito and the sequel Incognito: Bad Influences within its 360-odd pages as well an essay, a series cover gallery and some interesting process pieces. If you’ve read any of Brubaker and Phillips other work together, such as Criminal, Fatale or Kill Or Be Killed, then you probably have an idea what you’re in for. If you don’t… well, let’s just say you’re in for a very compelling story that you’ll probably want to read multiple times.

If you want to read the series’ synopsis, it’s below. If you don’t… well, skip the next paragraph, I guess. Either way, you’ll find the core premise of the comic below.

What if you were an ex-super villain hiding out in Witness Protection… but all you could think about were the days when the rules didn’t apply to you? Could you be a humdrum office clerk after being the best at years of leaving destruction in your wake? And what if you couldn’t stand it? What would you do then? 

This story is steeped in the pulp fiction of the 30’s and 40’s, stories that undeniably inspired the superhero fiction of today. Brubaker takes those early influences and fills out a world that has descended from them; there’s a very clear path in Incognito back to characters like the Shadow and the Spider (or rather Brubaker’s version thereof), and it gives the reader the sense that we’re barely scratching the surface with the characters and history revealed through the course of the hardcover’s 360-odd pages.

I was immediately taken in by the story as we learned more about Zack Overkill and how he went from a heavy hitting super villain to a lowly file clerk barely noticed by his coworkers. We see flashes of his mandated psychiatric appointments, the oh-so-real struggles he’s facing in a life that he’s not accustomed too. If you remove the super powered aspect from the opening part of the story, you can see a man struggling with his mental health amidst an unfulfilling life of boredom and depression. Is it any wonder that he eventually turns to drugs in order to find an escape?

Zach Overkill is an oddly likable guy despite never hiding (at least from us) what kind of man he used to be; whether this story is about his trying to find redemption, or a larger tale about whether a leopard can truly change its spots is one of the best parts about this book. Brubaker asks you not whether you can change for the better after making a horrible series of life choices, but whether others can accept your change. Whether they truly believe it, or if once they’ve labelled you a villain then that’s how they will always see you.

I should have expected good stuff from this book, but I wasn’t quite prepared with just how good it would be.

In a story that can be so much to so many, we’re left asking ourselves who we really are; are you really the person you think you are, or are you just a product of what this world has made you?


Join us next week where there will doubtless be another movie, series, comic or comic related thing discussed that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

comiXology Icon 3 Day Sale

Starting tonight, comiXology is have a three day sale for Icon books featuring some solid series that are quality.  You can get 20% off these Marvel Icon comics by Bendis, Brubaker, Fraction, Millar and more:

▪ Casanova
▪ Casanova: Avaritia
▪ Casanova: Gula
▪ Criminal Vol.1
▪ Criminal Vol.2
▪ Criminal: The Last of The innocent
▪ Criminal: The Sinners Vol.1
▪ Fortune & Glory
▪ Incognito
▪ Jinx
▪ Kick-Ass
▪ Powers
▪ Scarlet

The sale is on the webstore only, but that doesn’t mean you can’t read it all on your favorite device.  Using comiXology’s “buy once, read anywhere” feature, comiXology allows fans to buy their digital comics through the web and then read them on any device that has the Comics by comiXology app! Just stick with the same account you made the purchase with and the comics will sync right over no sweat!

Preview – Your First Look Inside Brubaker & Phillips’ Incognito: Bad Influences #1

Official Press Release

Your First Look Inside Brubaker & Phillips’ INCOGNITO: BAD INFLUENCES #1

It’s time for your first look at the jaw-dropping interiors from the hotly-anticipated Incognito: Bad Influences #1. The Eisner Award-winning team of Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips and Val Staples present the most anticipated super hero noir series of the century, as Zack Overkill heads deeper into the criminal underworld than ever before. This is the mission that’ll redefine his life…if he can find a way to survive long enough. Drawing acclaim from critics and fans alike, no comics fan can afford to miss the sequel to the series that has Ain’t-It-Cool-News raving, “What Brubaker and company do deliver is one of the finest expositions I’ve read in years, leaving me salivating for the next issue.”

This October, comic book noir is redefined once when Incognito: Bad Influences #1 hits stores!

And get caught up on the Eisner-winning original limited series in Incognito TPB, on-sale now and soon to be adapted into a major motion picture!

INCOGNITO: BAD INFLUENCES #1 (JUL100652)

INCOGNITO: BAD INFLUENCES #1 PHILLIPS VARIANT COVER (JUL108169)

Written by ED BRUBAKER

Art & Covers by SEAN PHILLIPS

Mature Content/No Ads…$3.50

FOC—9/30/10, On-Sale—10/20/10

INCOGNITO TPB (SEP090494)

Written by ED BRUBAKER

Art & Cover by SEAN PHILLIPS

Mature Content …$18.99

ON SALE NOW

Incognito: Bad Influences #1 cvrIncognito: Bad Influences #1 Variant Cover Read more

Your First Look At Variant to Brubaker & Phillips’ Incognito: Bad Influences

Official Press Release

Your First Look At Variant to Brubaker & Phillips’ INCOGNITO: BAD INFLUENCES

Now get your first look at the stunning new variant cover to the hotly-anticipated Incognito: Bad Influences #1, from superstar artist Sean Phillips! Eisner Award-winners Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips return with the most hard-hitting, super hero noir series of the century, as Zack Overkill heads deeper into the criminal underworld for one final mission that’ll change his world forever. Don’t miss an issue of the sequel to the series that Esquire called “the rebirth of comic book noir” as Incognito: Bad Influences #1 hits stores this October!

And  get caught up on the Eisner-winning original limited series in Incognito TPB, on-sale now!

INCOGNITO: BAD INFLUENCES #1 (JUL100652)

INCOGNITO: BAD INFLUENCES #1 PHILLIPS VARIANT COVER (JUL108169)

Written by ED BRUBAKER

Art & Covers by SEAN PHILLIPS

Mature Content/No Ads…$3.50

FOC—9/16/10, On-Sale—10/6/10

INCOGNITO TPB (SEP090494)

Written by ED BRUBAKER

Art & Cover by SEAN PHILLIPS

Mature Content …$18.99

ON SALE NOW

Incognito: Bad Influences #1 Variant Cover

Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ Criminal and Incognito Go Digital!

Official Press Release

The Eisner-winning team of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips have brought their acclaimed Criminal and Incognito series to your favorite mobile device! Criminal #1, Criminal #2, from the original series launch, and Incognito #1 are now available to iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch users through the Comixology, Iverse and Panefly applications, while PSP users can download directly to their device as of April 22nd!

“Getting the chance to reach a new audience with Criminal and Incognito is really amazing,” said writer Ed Brubaker, co-creator of Criminal and Incognito. “And having all these new platforms to do it on really does feel like we’re living in the future.”

Sean Phillips, artist and co-creator of Criminal and Incognito added, “Having Criminal available digitally to a whole new audience is great. Fans of crime fiction, who might’ve never come across our books, will be able to check them out.”

Discover today just why Incognito and Criminal redefined crime noir in comics! Download Criminal and Incognito via Comixology, Iverse and Panefly right now or on your PSP soon!

Criminal #1INCOGNITO #1

Entertainment Earth