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Bitch-slapped by Incognito

Yesterday, after dropping off Joe’s guitar for repair, I slipped into Abstract Sprocket, Norwich’s best comics emporium. Glancing around the shelves, one particular cover just leapt out, grabbed me by the throat and barked “Buy me, motherliker!”

Incognito – cover issue one

Incognito is the new series by Eisner award winning creators Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. I bought it on gut instinct because the cover of the first issue (above) was such a fantastic image. However, I read inside that this comic has been such a runaway success that the compelling cover I fell in love with is actually the SECOND printing, as the first run (with a different cover) sold out in seconds flat. My gut instinct proved right about this title, however – I love Film Noir, Raymond Chandler and complicated superheroes and Incognito is a brilliant mash-up of all three.

Incognito – panels from issue two (1)

Taking a hero who’s a baddie with a creative direction from pulp magazines, the result is a hard-boiled, cliché-free, amoral tale of a perveted kind of derring-do you don’t usually come across in comics. And there’s plenty of swearing too. There’s a quote on the back from Ain’t It Cool News which reads ‘…INCOGNITO bitch-slapped my senses and left me questioning the lines of morality, a pretty f**king spectacular feat in 22 pages.”

One thing, however – Is Dr. Lester supposed to look like evil Dr. Sivana from Captain (Shazam) Marvel?

Incognito – does Dr. Lester look like Dr. Sivana?

Here’s the first version of the cover (below).

Incognito cover (first print run)

I’m now going to check out Criminal, the multi-Eisner award winning series also by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips.

All images © 2008-09 Basement Gang Inc.

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Comments (2)

davy said on Apr 17, 10:44 am:

Thanks for the tip, I’ll have to give this a go. And for some reason I’ve still not got round to reading Criminal despite many recommendations.

Brubaker’s the writer on Daredevil at the moment and has taken that in a very noir direction so that should be right up your street.

He also did a book called Gotham Central which I really liked, it’s basically a cop show like NYPD Blue or something in comic book form.

Also on the noir/crime/superheroes tip, Powers by Brian Michael Bendis is fantastic and a lot of his early work is really heavy noir (Jinx, Fire, Goldfish & Torso)

Steve K said on Apr 17, 10:59 am:

Cheers Davy, I’ll check ’em out!

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