Friday, May 7, 2010

Incognito TPB

Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips do it again. I love the idea of a witness protection comic, so this was an easy sell for me. Factor in the creative team and it is a can't miss collection.
As expected, Brubaker keeps things very similar to the feel of Sleeper with the villains having similar style names (Eva Destruction, Zack Overkill) and the heroes are similar (Zoe Zeppelin). I enjoyed seeing a bit more of the good guys' super-faction this time, we see Zoe's right hand man (a Fury-esque cyborg) and I love the idea that most super-fights are covered up as natural disasters. Can't have the populace getting too worried! Another great element is how Zack Overkill goes from being a full-on villain to a vigilante at best. One of his closing lines is that he's enjoying killing people who deserve it, so Captain America he's not.

Brubaker's limited super-world is a neat idea too. With all the supers powers emanating from the meteor strike that empowered series villain Black Death, all the enhanced characters are going to be at least tangentially connected. The book is brutal, with lots of death, hook-up, and gory battles. It's definitely an adult book, complete with a character who gets aroused by super-action. I don't mind those elements when the whole book is targeted for adults and the characters are newly created for this story.

Sean Phillips imbues every page with mood. His offices look drab and boring (I love how we get repeated shots of Zack eating yogurt in the break room). The settings for the super-battles are mostly mundane. With one exception they're normal places like malls, offices, and houses, further establishing the idea that Zack is "out" in the real world and all this is just pulling him back in. It's a neat book, highly recommended for fans of Sleeper. I think this is the closest we can get to a sequel.


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