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Incognito #3

Posted: Tuesday, April 14, 2009
By: Matthew J. Brady

Ed Brubaker
Sean Phillips
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: Incognito #3 arrives in stores tomorrow, April 15.

It's the middle chapter of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' supervillain series, making for a slightly awkward chapter, but one that sees several nice moments nonetheless. Our "hero", Zack Overkill, is acting as a vigilante, mostly for the rush it gives him as an escape from the mundanity of his life in witness protection. But all that is threatened by his friend Farmer, who has discovered his secret, and is living vicariously through him, glorying in the possibilities that super-strength can bring and trying to convince him to rob a bank. At the same time, Zack's activities have come to the attention of his former villainous bosses, who aren't happy to find out that he's still alive and ratted them out. And a rogue super-powered woman named Ava Destruction seems to be getting involved in things as well. Some of this is setting things up for the climactic parts of the series, but it's not like they're skimping on the action; if anything, this might be the point where the book ramps up from somewhat minor scuffles to major, violent super-powered conflicts.

For anyone who has been following Brubaker and Phillips' other work, it shouldn't be a surprise that Philips' artwork is as excellent as ever here. He really sells the grimy locales and grittiness of the violence, giving everything an extra layer of dirt and lots of moody shadows. The action is perfectly choreographed, making everything clear and visceral enough to feel the punches. And Val Staples' colors continue to perfectly finish the art, highlighting the mood and adding a real punch to the images. It's a great-looking book.

So, for a middle chapter, there's some good content here, with enough plot progression to set up the finale, but enough to keep the attention on this month's issue without making readers feel like they're just waiting for the climax to get here. It's always good to see Brubaker and Phillips continue to knock stories out of the park, and they have yet to disappoint. Let's hope it stays that way.








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