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