Incognito: Bad Influences 5 (April 2011)

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Brubaker goes with a simple conclusion—not out of Tom Strong, but keeping with his Moore fascination on this series, out of Watchmen—and it works. Maybe it doesn’t, I don’t know. He ends the series with a lovely setup for a third Incognito and that setup works and so it just makes me want another one more.

Actually, I should be upset. The entire series was just a setup to get Zack to where Brubaker ends this issue. Brubaker even reveals a certain logic to the series (it takes place over a week) and he could have used it during, having each issue take a day or whatever.

Not only didn’t he use that pacing, he didn’t even mention it being a week or having a particular timeline until the last issue.

Still, it’s hard to be upset. It’s a good trip, with Brubaker avoiding his usual Marvel missteps.

CREDITS

Writer, Ed Brubaker; artist and letterer, Sean Phillips; colorist, Val Staples; publisher, Icon.

Incognito: Bad Influences 4 (March 2011)

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I just noticed, this issue, Phillips is really playing up the masks this series of Incognito. Everyone’s got a mask of some kind or another (well, all the girls have Catwoman masks out of the Adam West “Batman”) so it looks like he’s keeping busy illustrating other stuff, since Brubaker’s still not giving him particularly interesting set pieces.

It all takes place at night; maybe the non-colored work is more dynamic.

But Brubaker definitely needs more issues. He’s introducing all these new and interesting things but just showing them for a second before he has to move past. It’s like he’s expanding the Incognito universe, while still trying to stay on task. He resolves his surprise this issue (at least, starts to) and he handles it practically as an aside.

When I finished Incognito, I didn’t want a sequel. One issue left of this series and I want another.

CREDITS

Writer, Ed Brubaker; artist and letterer, Sean Phillips; colorist, Val Staples; publisher, Icon.

Incognito: Bad Influences 3 (February 2011)

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Okay, so every issue of Bad Influences so far has had a different pacing structure. Here, Brubaker splits it between his three or four main characters. Except two of the main characters are antagonists and it’s unclear how much either is going to have to do with the series overall and he gives Zoe Zeppelin her own focus now too. She’s even less of an active character than the bad guys.

As for Zack Overkill, it’s hard to say where Brubaker’s taking him this series. He’s not quite treading water with the character, but he’s moving along really slow, to the point I’m wondering if issue five isn’t just going to end with a cliffhanger for the next series.

My enthusiasm for the series isn’t exactly waning (though Phillips again doesn’t have anything interesting to illustrate), but it’s getting a lot more realistic.

Incognito would work better as an ongoing.

CREDITS

Who Was That Masked Man?; writer, Ed Brubaker; artist and letterer, Sean Phillips; colorist, Val Staples; publisher, Icon.

Incognito: Bad Influences 2 (December 2010)

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Look at Brubaker surprising me… not so much with anything going on in the issue, but with the soft cliffhanger. The entire issue suggests he’s going to have problems filling out three more issues, then the cliffhanger suggests he’s not going to have enough time for all his plans.

I coasted through this issue on goodwill from the first one. It’s not a bad issue, it’s just a stretched one. Brubaker takes a lot of time to get Zack’s story to a place he could have in the first half of the issue, maybe even less. The Black Death is back this series too, which makes it feel a little like old home week, but also like Brubaker doesn’t have enough for the standalone Incognito series he implied last issue.

Still, it’s a decent comic, probably better than anything last series.

Although Brubaker doesn’t give Phillips anything interesting to draw.

CREDITS

Writer, Ed Brubaker; artist and letterer, Sean Phillips; colorist, Val Staples; publisher, Icon.

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